Skip to main content

Full text of "That we may eat"

See other formats

Historic, archived document 

Do not assume content reflects current 
scientific knowledge, policies, or practices. 


/) 3 z l i }' 

/ <J 

■' O 
-I fTl 
..5 -.3 







American settlers, from the first 
days in Jamestown to America's 
last frontier, experimented with 
crops and livestock that would 
find a market. The entire farm family 
(large photo) might go to market 
with butter, eggs, fruit, potatoes 
or other products. 

• a woOnC" u 

Western roundups 

gradually changed as experiments 

with better breeds of livestock and controlled grazing 

insured greater returns to ranchers and higher 

quality to consumers. Part of rural life in Montana 

as recently as the 1920's was the horse-drawn school 

bus (photo at top of page), mounted on a sled in 

winter and heated with a little barrel stove. 

In fall and spring the bus rode on buggy wheels. 




Farmers tried different 
ways of keeping such 
perishable foods as meat. 
One way was to pack ice 
around the food in an 
insulated storehouse, 
saving it for spring or 
early summer use. 
Prosperity arrived for 
many Virginians in 1613, 
when John Rolfe shipped 
the first hogsheads of his 
new type of tobacco to 
England. During the 
1870's, horse-drawn 
implements gradually 
replaced hand equipment, 
as in the haymaking 


With the Nation's expansion, State 
Agricultural Experiment Stations 
were founded a century ago. 
Designed to develop scientific ways 
for improving agriculture, human 
nutrition, and family living, they 
provided benefits for all Americans. 
These color photos reflect station 
activities and achievements. 
Infrared photo shows California test 
plots. Texas scenes at lower right 
are (top) new Triple Cross cucumber, 
and station creators of hybrid 
sorghum at field meeting with 
other scientists. Opposite page, 
Illinois test plots and (inset) 
farmers being taken to plots to see 
research results. 

* - 


Opposite page: Bottom, seven 
combines harvesting wheat in 
Nebraska. Top, high yield 
Mexican wheat introduced into 
India, a development of the Green 
Revolution, to which State 
scientists contributed. 
Bottom right, wheat test plots, and 
bottom left, students threshing 
grain nurseries to determine yield, 
i both scenes in Montana. Left, lab 
I work to determine amino acid 
content of wheat samples, in 
Nebraska and U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) research. 

Above, Ohio scientist checks 
soybean light enrichment. 
Top, mobile machine, 
designed by USDA-lllinois 
researchers, measures three 
basic biological mechanisms 
of soybeans, our No. 1 cash 
crop. Upper right, no-till 
soybeans in wheat stubble, 


»W "'"'-v v' 


" £ 




A i 


Right, light colored ear of high 
lysine corn, which has high nutritive 
value, is compared with a present 
corn hybrid, in Michigan. Lower 
right, corn seedlings exposed to 
Southern corn leaf blight toxins in 
USDA-lllinois research. Top seedling 
row is susceptible, bottom row 
resistant. After two days' growth in 
toxins, roots are measured. Bottom 
photo, checking on spread of 
Southern corn leaf blight. Opposite 
page, large photo at bottom, Illinois 
scientist works on blight, a major 
concern of agricultural producers. 
Adjoining photo, taking corn 
samples to determine moisture 
content, in top of bin, during 
US DA- Iowa research. 

Bottom, dwarf apple trees — vastly 
improved by regional research — have 
become "giants" of fruit industry. 
Below left, comparison shows improved 
color of Red Delicious apples from 
growth regulator that speeds up maturity 
for timely marketing, Alabama. Below 
right, Golden Delicious apples, Washington. 
Opposite page: Large photo, applying 
foam to protect strawberries from frost, 
Arkansas. New "California" fall-winter 
pears. Peach variety being tested for 
mechanical harvesting, Texas. "Benton" 
strawberry variety developed by 
USDA-Oregon research. 

Below, mechanical saws 
cut off citrus tree tops 
at an angle to facilitate 
harvesting, spraying, 
and entrance of light, 
Florida. Left, oscillating 
boom sprayer for 
applying pesticide in 
orange groves, 



1 " 


Above, Florida has found evaluating 
root stocks for citrus requires 10 
to 15 years of records of yield, 
quality, and tree vigor. Left, 
California return-stack heaters meet 
pollution standards and protect 
citrus from freezing. Below, 
harvesting oranges, Florida. 

Large photo shows some 200 tons of tomato 
variety VF-134 developed for processing, 
just after harvest in California. 

Right, production field of hybrid sunflowers, 
grown following joint research by Texas, a 
co-op oil mill, and a growers seed association. 
Opposite page: Top inset, Florida has 
developed new varieties of tomatoes for 
harvesting red ripe. Bottom inset, high quality 
freezer peas being harvested, Alaska. 

Right, artificial insemination study of 
broiler-breeder birds, South Carolina. 
Three center photos, virtually painless 
freeze-marking technique developed by 
USDA-Washington research for 
identifying animals such as horses, 
ponies, and deer. Bottom, specific- 
pathogen-free pigs are derived by 
caesarean surgery on mother sow into 
a sterile plastic bag, Tennessee. 

Left, California researchers 
experimented by taking calf from 
mother at an early age and 
feeding for rapid growth. 
Below, lowans get animal 
ready for National Dairy 
Cattle Congress. 

Below, harvesting large plots of cotton 
in Mississippi comparison of 
experimental defoliants. Left, toys 
measure infant development, in Ohio 
child study. 


Above left, measuring magnesium in 
vegetables, USDA-New York research. 
Above right, welding is one of new skills 
California farmworkers are learning through 
training programs to qualify them for 
year-round employment in agriculture. 

Bottom, lean pork chops are result of 
modern genetics and animal nutrition. 
Below, tasty pork roll developed in 
Nebraska by freezing low priced cuts 
and scraps of pork, flaking it, then 
forming flakes into "logs". Left, Texas 
is studying economic possibilities of 
freshwater shrimp. Opposite page: Top, 
three leading catfish farmers, Kansas. 
Bottom, porterhouse steaks illustrate 
the best of today's meats — more 
tender, more nutritious than ever before. 

Conservation of energy and the 
environment are two important goals of 
State research. Right, Arizona scientists 
are studying "people carrying" 
capacities of areas such as the Grand 
Canyon. Center photos, testing solar 
energy use to dry grain or other 
agricultural commodities, in Ohio (left) 
and Iowa. Bottom, many States are 
seeking new ways for disposing of 
feedlot wastes without ecological 

Big tractor rig prepares land 
for fallow in State of Washington. 
Good conservation practices 
are based on research. 


Below, high degree of color uniformity of 
flowering plants obtained through asexual 
tissue culture in California. Photo at far 
left shows varied colors of plants obtained 
from seedlings. Uniformity is important 
for flower industry. Left, popular zebra 
plant is demanding in its requirements, 
thus is subject of much research in 
Florida, where about half of all foliage 
plants in U.S. homes have their origin. 

Above, new mountain laurel 
selection with red buds and 
banded flowers, developed in 
Connecticut. Right, 20 years of 
research stand behind success 
of Florida's winter 
chrysanthemum industry. 

Above, checking height of 
flower and size of bloom, key 
measures of snapdragon 
variety desirability, Alabama. 
Left, modern long lasting 
poinsettias grow in Florida. 

Bottom, mosquito gorged with 
blood, and enlargement of a 
skeeter's business end, 
California. Right, mosquito- 
fish that eats mosquito 
larvae. California is working 
on mass culture techniques 
for the mosquitofish. 
Below, California researcher 
sets light trap in evening to 
sample mosquito population. 

Below, early warning system based 
on a chemical repellant (alarm 
pheromone) was discovered in aphids 
by scientists from Ohio, New York, 
and Massachusetts. When a predator 
insect attacks, the aphid secretes a 
droplet of pheromone which warns 
other aphids. Possibility of treating 
plants with synthetic pheromones to 
scare aphids away is being explored. 

Top of page, in biological 
control research 
conducted with USDA 
against insect pests, a 
parasitic wasp attacks a 
pink bollworm larva in 
Arizona. Below, parasitic 
wasp that preys on the 
Mediterranean fruit fly, 

Aerial color infrared photography is being 
used in Hawaii-USDA research to detect 
wild bitter melon infestations, indicated 
by pink areas in abandoned pineapple 
field at left (solid red areas are cultivated 
pineapple fields). This weed is a primary 
host of the melon fly, a serious pest of 
melon crops in the Pacific islands. Small 
photo is a melon fly. 

II // 


Earl L. Butz 
Secretary of Agriculture 

A billion-dollar saving through just one piece of agricultural 

That's an estimate of the worldwide economic value of a vac- 
cine to protect poultry against Newcastle Disease. The vaccine 
was developed at the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station. 

This is just one striking example of what the State Experiment 
Stations are doing. There are many other dramatic examples that 
you can read about in this 1975 Yearbook of Agriculture, That 
We May Eat. Among them is the monumental discovery of 

You are directly helped in many ways by agricultural research. 
The experiment stations had a big hand in developing today's 
meaty, tasty, economical chicken. Their research made possible 
the fried chicken that you eat at neighborhood fast-food establish- 
ments. In the first years after World War II, it took about four 
pounds of feed to grow one pound of chicken. Now, two pounds 
of feed make one pound of chicken. It used to take 14 to 1 8 weeks 
for poultrymen to produce a chicken weighing four pounds. 
Today they raise a four-pounder in less than nine weeks. Scientists 
have also redesigned the chicken to have more of the meaty por- 
tions that you like to eat. 

Potatoes are another productive miracle. Connecticut, where 
the first State Experiment Stations started 100 years ago, grows as 
many bushels of potatoes now as in 1875, but this takes only a 
fourth as much land. 

One of the book's authors sums up other things the experiment 
stations have done: They created hybrid corn which increased 
yields tremendously. They controlled hog cholera which used to 
destroy millions of pounds of pork each year. They curbed the 
wheat rust epidemics that threatened to wipe out wheat — and 
bread. They devised new ways to irrigate dry parts of the country 
so that we could have larger, more economical supplies of food 
and fibers. 


Experiment station scientists discovered the minor elements of 
zinc, copper, cobalt, and molybdenum in plant and animal 
nutrition — and why they are important. Scientists are busy in a 
never-ending battle protecting plants from enemies such as 
weeds, fungi, viruses, and insects. Agricultural scientists even 
discovered dicumarol to control blood clots in humans, strep- 
tomycin to treat TB and other diseases, and they discovered the 
significance of amino acids in your diets. 

Scientists also played a star role in stopping the corn blight of 
1970 — the most destructive disease ever to hit corn. It killed 
off 1 5 percent of our huge corn crop that year. In reality, scientists 
had to go back and correct an earlier mistake they had made — 
one which made corn susceptible to the blight. 

It is said that in the 100 years of the State Experiment Stations, 
American agriculture has advanced more than in all the millen- 
niums since man first scratched the ground with a stick. 

U.S. agricultural achievements are rooted in agricultural re- 
search that stems from the very beginnings of the Nation. The 
first settlers found they had to experiment and adapt, or die. 
Early chapters in this Yearbook tell about research from James- 
town, Virginia, in the early 17th Century to work by Thomas 
Jefferson, which shaped our present experiment stations. 

I have observed first-hand the work of today's researchers from 
my years at Purdue University in Indiana where I was Dean of 
Agriculture. I know, too, of the great cooperation by the people 
at State Experiment Stations with the people in the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture (USDA) . 

Cooperative State-Federal research in agriculture and forestry 
has consistently discovered new knowledge enabling agriculture, 
and the Nation, to move forward. Since 1888 Congress has ap- 
propriated money for agricultural research, with States matching 
the money. The Federal funds are administered by USDA's Co- 
operative State Research Service to do research ranging from en- 
vironmental quality to improving beef cattle. The Agricultural 
Research Service in USDA also participates in these programs 
through cooperative agreements with the States for research work. 

No attempt has been made in this book to include stories of 
achievements from all of our Stations. We are only describing 
some highlights of State Experiment Station research that we 
thought would be fascinating to you. The miracles are so com- 
monplace we can't report them all! 



Jack Hayes 
Yearbook Editor 

If hat We May Eat, the 1975 Yearbook of Agriculture, should 
appeal to just about all Americans, but especially to adults and 
to youth of high school and college age. 

The Yearbook marks the 1975 centennial of the State Agri- 
cultural Experiment Stations by reporting experiment station 
successes which have brought us a better life. This 100th year 
celebration is a warmup to America's 1976 Bicentennial. 

Authors have sought to write sparkling accounts as fascinating 
as research itself, which still have the stature of reference pieces. 
There is a wealth of photos. 

This Yearbook describes past achievements of the experiment 
stations that mean a great deal to you in your everyday life, tells 
of their ongoing research into current problems that affect all of 
us directly or indirectly, and peers into the future at rocks in the 
path and surmises how they may be dug out. 

State Experiment Station folks asked the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) to do this book, and USDA was happy to 
comply. A prime mover was Paul Waggoner, Director of the 
Connecticut Station at New Haven — the Nation's very first 
Station. Paul has a realistic point of view which might serve well 
for America's Bicentennial. Let me quote him: 

"At the end of the first century of the Stations we can point 
with pride at their accomplishments. Mostly, however, we see 
things to do. The union of theory and practice in America's Sta- 
tions for discovery is a powerful force for improving the human 
condition. But a century is only a beginning ..." 

Many persons have contributed to this Yearbook, and some are 
sure to slip by without receiving due credit. The 1975 Yearbook 
Committee is listed at the end of this Preface. Most members 
came long distances from their home States to attend meetings. 

Participating in early planning sessions for the book and mak- 
ing additional contributions were Claude Gifford, USDA's 
Director of Communication; and Hal Taylor, Deputy Director. 


Yearbook staff members Mary Vest and Denver Browning 
worked on all phases of the book and collaborated on the Index. 

The book was published by the Government Printing Office 
(GPO) . 

James Watson of GPO's Typography and Design Division was 
the book's typographer. Other contributors from that Division 
include Howard Behrens who laid out the color pages, and Linda 
Sherman, the cover designer. Production coordinator was Paul 
Wertz, USDA's Office of Communication. 

Editorial Note: To avoid endless repetition of such words as 
"State Agricultural Experiment Station" in photo captions, the 
name of the State involved alone is given as a rule. (A list of the 
Stations begins on Page 3 51.) 

Roy Lovvorn, Administrator of USDA's Cooperative State 
Research Service, was chairman of the Yearbook Committee that 
planned the book. 

Yearbook Committee members were : 

James Anderson, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry 
Experiment Station 

Tony Cunha, University of Florida 

Glen Goss, Pennsylvania State University 

James Halpin, Director-at-Large, Southern Agricultural 
Experiment Station Directors 

James Kendrick, University of California, Agricultural 
Experiment Station 

Lee Kolmer, Iowa Agricultural and Home Economics Ex- 
periment Station 

Ward Konkle, Cooperative State Research Service (re- 

Roy Kottman, Ohio Agricultural Research and Develop- 
ment Center 

Jarvis Miller, Texas A&M University, Agricultural Ex- 
periment Station 

Wayne Rasmussen, Economic Research Service, USDA 

Robert Rathbone, Agricultural Research Service, USDA 

Donald Robertson, Office of Audit, USDA 

Paul Waggoner, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment 

Sylvan Wittwer, Michigan State University, Agricultural 
Experiment Station 




Earl L. Butz, Secretary of Agriculture XXXIII 


Jack Hayes, Yearbook Editor XXXV 



Paul E. Waggoner and Paul Gough 2 



Wayne D. Rasmus sen 10 


Wayne D. Rasmussen 15 


Wayne D. Rasmussen 23 


Roy L. Lovvom and Don V . Robertson 31 


Hubert B. Vickery and Paul Gough 41 


Gladys L. Baker and William G. Murray 47 


]oe M. Bohlen, Ronald C. Powers and John A. Wallize 55 



Glenn S. Pound 66 


Rue Jensen 75 


Robert H. White-Stevens 85 


Paul Gough 99 


James G. Horsfall 105 



Larry V. Cundiff 116 


Robert E. Cook, Harvey L. Baumgardner and William E. Shaklee 125 


Ruth Steyn 133 



R. P. Niedermeier, G. Bohstedt, and C. A. Baumann 139 


E. W. Shell l4 9 



R.PaulLarsen 158 


A. H. Krezdom 169 


R. A. Moore and John L. Pates 181 


Frank H. Kaufert 191 


Kenneth K. Barnes and James H. Anderson 201 


D. D. Harp stead 213 


Robert W. Howell 225 


Wynne Thome 237 



Jane M. Porter 250 


Jane M. Porter 261 


Emil M. Mrak 267 


Klaus Lorenz 281 


S. J, Ritchey 289 


Vernon E. Schneider and Beryle Stanton 299 



Irene Uribe 312 


E. Paul Taiganides 323 


Glen W. Goss 329 


O. A. Lorenz and Melvin N. Gagnon 337 


Joseph J, Marks, H. R, Fortmann, J. B. Kendrick. and S. H. Wittwer 345 

List of State Agricultural Experiment Stations 351 

Photography 353 

Index 355 


The First Two Stations— 
Connecticut, California 

By Paul E. Waggoner and Paul Gough 

By coincidence, two scientists who grew up in the United 
States, had boyhood laboratories, and were educated in 
Germany, built experiment stations on both of the American 

The scientific achievements of State Agricultural Experi- 
ment Stations such as hybrid corn, antibiotics (for example, 
Streptomycin and Aureomycin) , and the discovery of vitamins 
didn't just happen. They came from scientific institutions set 
up as the result of a dream, peddled from buggies to farmers' 
meetings and State legislatures. 

Before the mid 1870's when the first experiment station was 
founded in Yankee Connecticut, there were many farmers, but 
few had the knowledge, inclination or ability to conduct experi- 
ments, based on scientific knowledge, to improve the state of 
agriculture. Schools had to teach what the best farmers did, 
not what science revealed. 

Realizing that science could serve agriculture, a small core of 
concerned men — including Connecticut's Samuel W. Johnson 
and California's Eugene W. Hilgard — worked to establish Agri- 
cultural Experiment Stations modeled after those in Germany. 

Johnson was the son of a New York farmer who felt the only 
way other than farming in which a young man could make a 
decent living in those days was to be a doctor or a lawyer. Fortu- 
nately for farmers and the people who depend upon them for 
food, the elder Johnson was wrong. 

Johnson the scientist was a bookish young man. He was 
driven by an interest in natural science and a desire to put 
science to work for society. Some of his first scientific experi- 

Paul E. Waggoner is Director, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New 
Haven. Paul Gough is Editor at the Station. 


Left, bicycle used for collecting 
feed samples in early 20th Cen- 
tury, to protect Connecticut farm- 
ers from fraud. Above, Virgil 
Churchill on sampling bike. 

merits were conducted in a small laboratory at the family farm 
when he was 18 years old. 

After graduation from Lowville Academy, Johnson taught 
general school subjects for several years before becoming an in- 
structor in science at the Flushing Institute on Long Island, and 
at the State Normal School in Albany. 

In 1850, he entered the Yale Scientific School to study agricul- 
tural chemistry. As was necessary in those days to succeed in 
science, Johnson studied for two years in Germany, supported 
financially by his father. There he saw the German Station at 
Moeckern, which was the first of its kind. The German name for 
this institute was literally "Agricultural Experiment Station." 

Johnson, who often wrote for The Cultivator and The Coun- 
try Gentleman, described the work of the experiment station in 
an article, and years later was to travel around like a politician 
seeking votes as he campaigned for a similar experiment station 
in the New World. One can imagine the railroads and buggies 
he rode and the meeting houses where he spoke in preaching 
the union of theory and practice. 

During the fall of 185 5, Johnson returned to New Haven 
to become chief assistant at the Yale Scientific School chemical 
laboratory. In 1 8 5 6 he was appointed to the chair in agricultural 

Fraud and Fertilizer 

Johnson helped to build support for an experiment station by 
offering farmers information they could use on the composition 
of fertilizer, based on analysis rather than the all-too-frequently 
fraudulent claims of manufacturers. Gaining fame through his 
writing and speeches, Johnson was invited to lecture before the 
New York State Agricultural Society at its annual meeting in 
February 18 56. 

In that lecture, Johnson set forth his ideas on what science 
could do for agriculture, and described the European stations 
and their work. To combat the problem of fraudulent products, 
Johnson suggested "if the manufacturer knew that every month 
or so a new analysis of his manure would be published on behalf 
of the farmer ... he would find himself compelled to be not only 
honest, but careful in his business." 

As Johnson returned to New Haven, he revived his earlier 
practice of evaluating fertilizer, and was hired in 18 57 by the 
Connecticut Agricultural Society to perform such analyses and 
to issue reports for farmers. 

Johnson issued three annual reports, but the outbreak of the 
Civil War in 1861 led to the demise of the Agricultural Society. 
After Appomattox, the State Board of Agriculture was set up, 
and Johnson was appointed its chemist, holding that position 
until 1898. 

After returning from the February 1872 convention of agri- 
cultural colleges in Washington, Johnson renewed his campaign 
for an experiment station. At a Board of Agriculture meeting in 
December 1873, Johnson and W. H. Brewer of Yale discussed 
German Experiment Stations and his protege, Wilbur O. At- 
water, spoke on commercial fertilizers. 

Later, as chairman of a committee appointed at this meeting, 
Johnson, not surprisingly, reported the unanimous opinion of its 
members was that "the state of Connecticut ought to have an 
Experiment Station as good as can be found anywhere, and they 
are of the opinion that the legislature of the state ought to fur- 
nish the means." 

Stumping for a Station 

This report was adopted, and the Board of Agriculture held 
17 meetings in different parts of the State at which Johnson, 
Atwater, and others stumped for the establishment of an experi- 
ment station. Seventeen meetings is a lot, but happily Connecti- 
cut is not a large State. A bill was drawn up for the 1874 legisla- 
ture; the Agricultural Committee tabled it. 

After this, Orange Judd, publisher of the American Agricul- 
turalist, trustee of Wesleyan University, and a classmate of John- 
son at Yale, offered the Board of Agriculture use of a laboratory 
at Wesleyan, the services of Atwater, who had been appointed 
chemist at the university, and $1,000 to start a station. 

The following year, the legislature accepted this offer and on 
July 20, 1875, appropriated $2,800 to the trustees of Wesleyan 
University "to be used in employing competent scientific men to 
carry on the appropriate work of an Agricultural Experiment 
Station" for two years. 


Taken with a scanning electron microscope, these photos show hairs on leaf of 
a tomato and a close relative, Solatium penneUii. Tomato leaf at left is suscep- 
tible to greenhouse whitefly, while Solanum on right with its glandular hair is 
resistant to whitefly. By grafting one plant upon the other, a modern-day Con- 
necticut scientist obtained plant in middle, which has core of tomato tissue and 
skin of the Solanum. New plant is resistant to whiteflies. 

Hilgard of California, left, and Johnson of Connecticut. 

The station started its work on October 1, 1875, but before 
the initial appropriation had run out, the legislature passed a new 
law, moving the experiment station to New Haven, and estab- 
lishing a Board of Control, which appointed Johnson to serve as 
director of the station. 

Philadelphia Garret 

Johnson's boyhood chemistry laboratory was behind the barn 
in New York, but the boyhood geological laboratory of the Cali- 
fornia founding father was in a Philadelphia garret where he 
spent his 16th winter as he prepared to go to Germany for his 
education in science. 

The Bavarian-born Hilgard was the son of a German lawyer 
who moved his family to Belleville, 111., when Hilgard was only 
three years old. 

After attending the public schools, and working on his father's 
farm, Hilgard left the Mark Twain and malaria country along 
the Mississippi to learn chemistry and geology abroad. On his 
way, Hilgard stopped by the Smithsonian Institution and met 
the distinguished Joseph Henry. 

After receiving his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of 
Heidelberg, the boy from Belleville spent the winter in arid 
Andalusia. Studying the botany and rocks of the countryside, 

writing his dissertation, and meeting his wife-to-be, Hilgard be- 
came familiar with the Mediterranean-like climate he was to en- 
counter later in California. 

Upon his return to the United States, Hilgard accepted a 
position as chemist of the Smithsonian Institution. But he soon 
resigned after being summoned to Connecticut for a job inter- 
view with a touring professor of physics from the South. Hired 
as director of the geologic survey of Mississippi after an inter- 
view in the State where the first experiment station was to be 
established, Hilgard surveyed soil and plants, and "served his 
noviciate in dealing with legislatures." Meanwhile Johnson was 
analyzing fertilizers and learning to deal with the Yankee farmers 
who wrote Connecticut's laws. 

Although Hilgard's Mississippi Survey was suspended during 
the Civil War, the State showed its esteem by continuing his 
salary, and charging him with the preservation of "Ole Miss" 
during the War. 

Attending the first national convention of agricultural col- 
leges in 1871, Hilgard urged a compromise between the academic 
pursuits of Yale and the trade school approach of Michigan and 

"Rainulator" controls amount of water applied to tillage plants, in Illinois tests 
seeking tillage method that best controls erosion and still gives high yields. This 
is an example of present-day work at State Agricultural Experiment Stations. 



Pennsylvania. He went to the University of Michigan in 1872. 

Hilgard went to Connecticut in 1874, again for a job inter- 
view, this time with a Californian. His scientific talents were 
sought because he was a professor who knew legislatures. Be- 
cause California was a long way off, Hilgard went for a six- 
month trial, only to find that the man who had hired him had 
moved east. But Hilgard stayed for the rest of his life. 

When he arrived at the University of California in early 187 5, 
Hilgard came to an institution that offered instruction in agri- 
culture but lacked land, facilities, and proper direction. He 
opened an experimental chemical laboratory and began a field 
experiment on deep and shallow plowing for wheat grown for 

The founding of The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment 
Station and The California Agricultural Experiment Station, 
within a few months of each other, reflected the different direc- 
tions a Station could take. The station on the Atlantic im- 
mediately went to work analyzing fertilizers in the laboratory, 
while the station on the Pacific started with field experiments. 

Corresponded Over Years 

Hilgard and Johnson obviously were friends united in the pur- 
suit of science because they corresponded over the years. 

One letter, written in the 1890's by Hilgard to Johnson, good- 
naturedly pointed out a typographical error that had never been 
discovered in a book, Hoxv Crops Feed, that Johnson had pub- 
lished 38 years earlier. Hilgard wrote, "This reminds me of the 
gold ducat that for a century passed has been offered to any who 
would discover a mistake in Vega's Logarithmic Tables. Hadn't 
you better do likewise?" 

Hilgard also told his colleague across the continent, "I wish I 
were able to give you a personal greeting at Boston, but neither 
my condition of health nor college arrangements will permit. On 
such occasions, however, one feels like sending one's old friends 
and contemporaries greetings." 

The boy chemists, one from a laboratory behind a New York 
barn and the other from a laboratory in a Philadelphia garret, 
lived on opposite sides of America into the first decade of the 20th 
century. They saw their dream of experiment stations in each of 
the States accomplished with the aid of Federal funds, and 
watched them grow into the scientific enterprises that produced 
the advances to be described in the chapters that follow. 

Experiment or Starve: 
The Early Settlers 

By Wayne D. Rasmussen 

Experiment and adapt, or die. During the winter of 1609-10, 
two-thirds of the settlers in Jamestown, Virginia, the first 
permanent English settlement in America, died. That 
winter was remembered as the "starving time." The survivors 
experimented with Indian corn and Indian farming, produced 
food, and lived. 

In 1621, Edward Winslow of Plymouth Colony wrote: "Our 
corn did prove well; and, God be praised, we had a good increase 
of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our pease 
not Worth the gathering. . . . Our harvest being gotten in, our 
governors sent four men on fowling, that so we might, after a 
special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits 
of our labors." 

The Pilgrim settlers in Massachusetts had, under the guidance 
of a friendly Indian, experimented with Indian corn. In the 
spring of 1621 they planted 5 acres of English grain and 20 acres 
of corn, fertilizing the corn by burying fish with the seed. The 
corn succeeded ; the English grain failed. 

The new crop and new methods brought the first Thanksgiv- 
ing. However, continued experimentation with English wheat, 
barley, and other crops eventually led to their successful cultiva- 
tion under the soil and climatic conditions of America. This was 
done mainly by saving and replanting seeds from the few early 
plants which produced grain. Thus, by trail and error, British 
crops were acclimated to the New "World. 

Corn, which insured survival in Jamestown, Plymouth, and 
many later settlements in America, had been developed by the 

Wayne D. Rasmussen is Program Leader, Agricultural History Group, Economic Re- 
search Service, USDA. 


American Indians through either amazing chance or a series of 
experiments which have been impossible to duplicate since. To- 
day corn is America's most valuable single crop. 

Indians in what is now the United States also raised avocados, 
kidney and lima beans, squashes, pumpkins, and probably toma- 
toes, while those in Central and South America also grew sweet 
potatoes, white potatoes, peanuts, and other crops. They also 
grew types of cotton. 

One spring day in 1613, John Rolfe — a man with an inquiring 
mind — stood on a dock in Jamestown, watching as several hogs- 
heads of another Indian crop, tobacco, were loaded on board the 
ship Elizabeth, bound for England. The variety was not the 
tobacco first grown in Virginia, but a milder type. Rolfe had 
secured seed from the West Indies, had planted and cured it in 
1612, and was now ready to test the results of his experiment in 
the market place. 

Acceptance was immediate. The large returns from this and 
following shipments established tobacco as the outstanding cash 
crop of colonial America. Demands for labor to grow the crop 
led to the importation of slaves and the development of planta- 
tion agriculture in many parts of the South. 


Tobacco being rolled to dock for shipment, before Revolution. 


Communal Work Fails 

Virginia and Plymouth witnessed experiments in economic 
organization as well as in crop and livestock production. In both 
colonies, the first settlers were required to work together and to 
turn everything produced into a common warehouse. The goods 
thus produced were to be sold for the benefit of the business com- 
panies financing the settlements. Until the debts were paid, each 
settler would receive his subsistence from a common storehouse. 

This system of communal work and sharing failed, largely 
because it penalized workers and rewarded shirkers. The first 
steps toward abandoning the system in Virginia were taken by 
Governor Dale in 1611. It was abandoned in Plymouth by Gov- 
ernor Bradford in 1623. In each instance, production showed 
marked increases when families were assigned their own plots of 
land and could benefit directly from their efforts. 

Efforts to develop new systems of landholding were more suc- 

The headright system, with each person coming to the colony 
given 50 acres of unclaimed land, developed in Virginia and 
contributed to its growth. 

The township system, where groups — usually a religious con- 
gregation — would be granted land for establishing a village, char- 
acterized Massachusetts. Each family was assigned a building plot, 
cropland, a grazing area, and often a woodlot, with the village the 
center of religious, educational, and social life. The township 
system spread from Massachusetts to Connecticut, New Hamp- 
shire, Maine, and Vermont. 

Meanwhile, Spanish settlers and explorers in Florida, the South- 
west, and California were adopting corn, beans, pumpkins, 
squashes, and other Indian plants, and were acclimating the grains 
and other crops of Europe, as well as livestock. Cattle raising and 
wine making were begun subsequently on the West Coast. How- 
ever, neither the early grapes nor cattle were particularly pro- 
ductive. Further experimentation, especially in wine making, was 
necessary in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

The first experiment station or plot in the present-day United 
States was established on the Ashley River in South Carolina in 
1669 by the proprietor of the colony. Ships taking settlers to the 
new colony were directed to stop at the Barbadoes Islands and 
secure supplies of cotton seed, indigo seed, ginger roots, sugar 
cane, olive trees and hogs. Two of the settlers were to experiment 
with these seeds and cuttings; the others were to plant corn, 


Pioneer couple, depicted in 
statuary at Fairmount Park, 

beans, peas, turnips, and sweet potatoes. None of the more exotic 
crops succeeded well enough to be adopted by the settlers at this 

Commercial growing of rice began around the turn of the 
century when, according to tradition, some new seed found in a 
ship from Madagascar proved to be particularly productive. 
Earlier experiments with the grain had yielded marginal results. 

The Indigo Lady 

Indigo production in South Carolina began in the 1740's. Eliza 
Lucas Pinckney, a young lady left in charge of her father's 
plantation, experimented with several crops and decided that 
indigo offered the most opportunity for profit. She was quite suc- 
cessful in her endeavor, although the industry died out when a 
subsidy offered by the British Government ended with the Rev- 

The second experimental garden and the first public one was 
established in Savannah, Georgia, in the 1730's by the trustees 
of the colony, founded as a philanthropic experiment to provide 
poorer people an opportunity to advance themselves. Even be- 
fore the garden was established, the trustees hired a botanist to 
travel in the West Indies and Central America and collect seeds 
and cuttings for trial. Most of the experiments failed, although 
the garden distributed grape cuttings and mulberry trees until it 
was abandoned in the late 1740's. 


Meanwhile, in the northern United States, European crops 
had been acclimated and were being grown in addition to those 
adopted from the Indians. However, markets were limited be- 
cause the crops were competitive with those grown in England 
and northern Europe. Enterprising New England ship captains 
sought markets in the West Indies, southern Europe, and else- 
where. British interference in trade became a major cause of the 
American Revolution. 

Both new crops and improved varieties were sought. Potatoes, 
native of South America and introduced into Europe before 1600 
by the Spaniards, illustrate the slowness of change. It was not 
until more than a century after potatoes were taken to Europe 
that they were brought back across the ocean by Scotch-Irish 
settlers in New Hampshire. 

Some of the colonies at various times attempted to direct their 
agricultural development, either to become self-sufficient or to 
open foreign markets, by offering bounties or subsidies or by set- 
ting prices. While some of these attempts succeeded for short 
periods of time, most failed immediately. 

In 1640, for example, Connecticut offered to give each farmer, 
for each team he possessed, 120 acres of land if he would sow 
a specified number of acres in wheat. The result was a great sur- 
plus of wheat and a steep decline in its price. 

Then two merchants were given a monopoly in wheat trad- 
ing in return for agreeing to pay farmers a price fixed by law 
and to ship the surplus overseas. The plan failed. 

In 1 640 every Connecticut family was ordered to plant hemp. 
The law could not be enforced and was subsequently modified to 
offer a bounty for all hemp grown and linen cloth woven in the 

Even though some of the experiments in crop and livestock 
production and economic organization in colonial America failed, 
the successes more than offset the failures. By 1775, one hundred 
years before the opening of the first State Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station in Connecticut, thirteen colonies had, through trial 
and error and planned experimentation, established themselves 
along the Atlantic seaboard. 

Firmly based upon self-sufficient agriculture and trade in the 
northern colonies and commercial agriculture in the middle and 
southern colonies, the colonists were upon the verge of revolu- 
tion against their mother country and were about to begin the 
greatest experiment in self-government the world had seen. 


Jefferson, Washington 
. . . and Other Farmers 

By Wayne D. Rasmussen 

Land that was seemingly unlimited in extent and available to 
I every European immigrant characterized the original 13 
colonies and was the greatest distinguishing factor, in the 
economic sphere, between the Old World and the New. In 
the Old World, one was born to the land or never had it. In the 
New World, one acquired land merely by coming to a new colony 
or by working a few years until the indenture given for one's 
passage was paid. 

Such was the dream, and the dream came true for most people. 
When the very existence of the hope and dream seemed to be 
threatened, the American was willing to fight to preserve it. 

The British Proclamation of 1763, forbidding settlement west 
of the Allegheny Mountains until a future time, antagonized 
many people. English troops enforced the proclamation by order- 
ing western settlers to return to the east of the mountains. 
Quitrents, a yearly fee due on all land owned, were found in 
several colonies and were resented. Entail and primogeniture, re- 
strictions on inheritance, seemed to many Americans to be in- 
appropriate in the New World. 

Trade restrictions aroused even more resentment than those 
on land. Heavy duties were levied from time to time on many 
colonial agricultural products when they were exported and the 
more valuable products, such as tobacco and indigo, could be 
shipped only to England. Restrictions on sales to the French, 
Dutch and Spanish West Indies limited the markets for colonial 
wheat and livestock. 

Agricultural problems were major causes of the American 
Revolution, and farms and plantations furnished the leaders, the 

Wayne D. Rasmussen is Program Leader, Agricultural History Group, Economic Re- 
search Service, USDA. 


military men, and the food to carry on the war. Notable military 
leaders such as George Washington of Virginia and Philip 
Schuyler of New York, backed by governmental leaders such as 
Thomas Jefferson of Virginia and Henry Laurens of South 
Carolina, left their farms to win a war and establish a new nation. 

With the end of the Revolution, the new nation turned to 
solving its land problems, bringing new, experimental ideas to old 

In the Ordinance of 1785, the Continental Congress estab- 
lished the system of rectangular land surveys, which permitted 
the exact location of any particular piece of land. Then in the 
Ordinance of 1787, the nation established the principle that 
whenever a new area achieved a designated population, it would 
become a State, equal in every way to the original 1 3 States. Both 
of these ordinances, which were experimental and original, en- 
couraged the opening of western lands by American farmers. 

Westward Ho 

Over the next half-century, westward expansion was of major 
importance. In 1803 the size of the United States was doubled 
by the purchase of Louisiana. The Lewis and Clark Expedition 
into this new area brought knowledge of its plants and animals, 
as well as of its geography and Indian inhabitants. 

In 1845 Texas was annexed, and in 1846 the Oregon Treaty 
with Great Britain assured the nation of what were to become 
the States of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Two years later, as 
a result of the Mexican War, the United States acquired the fu- 
ture States of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and 

The Revolution stimulated the westward movement and, at 
the same time, encouraged experimentation and change in farm- 
ing. Many national leaders, with George Washington and Thomas 
Jefferson as outstanding examples, urged agricultural improve- 
ment and carried on experimental work. 

In the words of one of his contemporaries, Washington made 
Mount Vernon "a veritable experimental farm." He urged crop 
rotation, replacing tobacco with wheat, clover, and other crops 
from year to year. Friends in England, including the great agri- 
cultural reformer Arthur Young, sent him new seeds and plants. 
Washington became the nation's first mule breeder, using a jack 
and jennets sent him by the King of Spain as his basic, experi- 
mental stock. He kept careful, comparative records of his ex- 


Moving west in 1840's, from Currier & Ives. 

periments with both crops and livestock — at least when the rush 
of events permitted him to do so. 

Thomas Jefferson saw farming as the natural, most rewarding 
occupation of man, and farmers as the persons most fitted to 
govern the new nation. He combined an intense interest in im- 
proving agriculture through experimentation with his agrarian 
philosophy. Jefferson encouraged the importation of seeds of 
improved or new plants, and he himself brought upland rice 
seed to the United States from Italy. 

The need for improvements in the plow attracted Jefferson's 
attention. He devised a moldboard along scientific principles 
which would insure that each furrow of soil would be turned. 
The plan was never put to practical use. However, working with 
his son-in-law, John Randolph, Jefferson helped design a prac- 
tical sidehill plow which proved useful. 

Both Washington and Jefferson joined with other gentlemen 
farmers in organizing societies for improving agriculture. The 


Cranberry rakes. 

first of record was established in New Jersey in 1781. The 
Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, organized in 
178 5, was the first to publish the results of its work. It was fol- 
lowed in the same year by the South Carolina Society for Promot- 
ing and Improving Agriculture, by the Society of Maryland for 
the Encouragement and Improvement of Agriculture in 1786, 
and by others within a few years. 

The early agricultural societies were made up of groups of 
men of all professions who could afford experimentation and 
who would seek out and adapt to American conditions the prog- 
ress made in other countries. They awarded premiums, not for 
definite itemized products that could be raised by the ordinary 
farmer, but rather for the best solutions of problems of general 

Some of the societies, notably the Philadelphia one, issued 
regular reports. In 1814, the society published an article by John 
Lorain on cross-breeding corn, the first step in the long process 
towards hybridization. 

The societies were pioneers in agricultural education and ex- 
perimentation, even though they had little direct influence upon 
the ordinary farmers of the time. 

One retired banker and businessman, Elkanah Watson of Pitts- 
field, Mass., believed that local societies, sponsoring annual cattle 
shows or fairs, would reach local farmers. In 1811 he organized 


the Berkshire Agricultural Society to sponsor such fairs. The 
idea spread, and, although they have had problems, county and 
state fairs still encourage agricultural improvement. 

Farm journals reached many farmers and encouraged them to 
experiment with new crops and improved livestock. The first, the 
Agricultural Museum, began publication in the District of 
Columbia in 1810, but lasted only a few issues. The American 
Farmer, the first to survive for a long period of time and to attain 
a nationwide circulation, began in Baltimore in 1819. The editors 
consistently urged farmers to adopt better methods, and pub- 
lished the results of farm experiments. 

A number of farm leaders wrote for farm papers or published 
their own. Edmund Ruffin of Virginia, the most influential lead- 
er of agricultural reform in the South, for example, experimented 
with marl, essentially a mixture of lime — often in the form of 
fossil shells — and clay. His report, first printed in the American 
Farmer in 1821, was widely studied and reprinted. In 1833, 
Ruffin started another journal, the Farmers' Register, in which he 
urged farmers to experiment with new crops and, particularly, 
with methods to restore the soil. 

Yale Man Comes Through 

Many articles in the farm press reported on new machines 
offered to farmers. One machine, the cotton gin, had trans- 
formed Southern agriculture before farm journals were estab- 

Cotton plantation, 1850, from Currier & Ives. 


lished. In 1793 Eli Whitney, a young graduate of Yale University, 
visited a Georgia plantation on his way to a teaching job. There he 
learned of the problem of separating the seeds from the fiber of 
short-staple cotton. Within a few days, Whitney had built a 
model of a simple, practical machine which did the job. 

While Whitney made little money from his patent because 
the machine was so simple, he changed Southern agriculture. 
Production of cotton increased from an estimated 10,500 bales 
in 1793 to 4,486,000 bales in 1861. At the same time, slavery, 
which had been declining, became profitable. Whitney's experi- 
ment had launched the South into commercial agriculture, which 
was to provide most of the nation's foreign exchange for many 

Plows were of key importance. In 1797, Charles Newbold of 
New Jersey patented a cast-iron plow, but many farmers re- 
fused to use it, claiming that the iron poisoned the land and made 
weeds grow. By 1819, Jethro Wood's improved cast-iron plow 
with interchangable parts could win acceptance, partly through 
the educational work of agricultural societies and farm journals. 

Neither wood nor cast-iron plows would, however, turn the 
heavy, sticky soils of the prairies. Steel and high-polished wrought 
iron shares and moldboards were the answer. Two Illinois black- 

Edmund Ruffin, left, urged soil conservation in early 1800's. 
Cyrus H. McCormick invented practical grain reaper in 1831. 


smiths, John Lane and John Deere, experimenting independently 
in the 1830's, came up with this answer. Deere began manufac- 
turing plows, and by 1857 was turning out 10,000 annually. 

The mechanical grain reaper was probably the most significant 
single invention introduced into farming between 1830 and 
1860, doing for northern and western agriculture what the cot- 
ton gin had done for the South. The reaper replaced much human 
power with horse power at the crucial point in grain production 
when the work must be completed quickly to save a crop. The 
first machine sufficiently practical to find a market was patented 
by Obed Hussey in 1833. However, Cyrus H. McCormick of 
Virginia, who patented his reaper in 1834, became dominant in 
reaper manufacture. 

Many other inventions were patented, some useful and some 
useless. Among the useful ones were a mowing machine patented 
in 1844 by William F. Ketchum, and a corn planter which 
G. W. Brown patented in 18 50. 

New and improved types of plants and animals were being 
introduced into the United States. For example, in 1818, Theo- 
dorick Bland of Maryland sent club wheat seed to the editor of 
the American Farmer from Chile. The next year, the Secretary 
of the Treasury sent a circular to consuls and naval officers ask- 
ing them to send useful seeds and plants back to the United States 
for experimental use. 

Townend Glover of the U. S. Patent Office brought sugar cut- 
tings from South America to Louisiana in 18 56. Unfortunately, 
borers were brought in with the cuttings. 

Immigrants, such as Wendelin Grimm, who brought a hardy 
alfalfa from Germany in 18 57, often carried favorite varieties 
to the United States. 

As early as 1783, improved English cattle were imported by 
Matthew Patton of Virginia and H. D. Gough of Maryland. 
Henry Clay, the Kentucky statesman, imported Herefords in 
1817. Beginning in 1822, John Hare Powel of Pennsylvania built 
up a well-known herd of Shorthorns. 

Many farmers experimented with various materials as fer- 
tilizer. Guano, the dried excrement of seafowls, was imported 
from Peru, and was widely used. The first mixed fertilizers 
manufactured commercially in the United States were sold in 
Baltimore in 1849. And the first step towards modern irrigation 
was taken by the Mormons in Utah in 1847. Earlier, Spanish mis- 
sionaries had done some irrigating in California. 


The first governmental efforts to aid in agricultural improve- 
ments were made by the States. Many States appropriated funds 
to local agricultural societies for aid in holding fairs, but some 
went further. In 1819 a State board of agriculture was estab- 
lished in New York. It lasted until 1825. While this first experi- 
ment was not effective, it was followed by an agricultural survey 
in Massachusetts. Beginning in 1837, Henry Colman visited all 
parts of the State and issued four reports, including statistics and 
recommendations for change. This work was a direct forerunner 
of present-day State Departments of Agriculture. 

Although George Washington had proposed a national board 
of agriculture, it was not until 1839 that Congress appropriated 
$1,000 to be used by the Patent Office for "the collection of 
agricultural statistics, and for other agricultural purposes." It was 
clear that other purposes included collecting and distributing 
seeds and plants. However, most of the money appropriated over 
the next several years was used to print an annual report on 
agriculture. It was devoted mainly to letters from farmers on 
experiments and improvements they had undertaken. The idea 
of a nationwide system of agricultural experiment stations was 
expressed as early as 1845. 

By 1862, a year of major agricultural reform, the founda- 
tions had been laid for the first American agricultural revolution. 


Lincoln and the Liberation 
of the Man on the Land 

By Wayne D. Rasmussen 

No other human occupation," wrote Abraham Lincoln in 
18 59, "opens so wide a field for the profitable and agree- 
able combination of labor with cultivated thought, as 
agriculture." In 1862, a year after he had become President, 
Lincoln signed into law four acts to encourage research and ex- 
perimentation and to aid the family farmer. 

The first of the four laws established an independent Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. The idea for such an agency went back to 
George Washington, who in 1796 had urged the creation of a 
national board of agriculture. The Maryland Agricultural Society 
in 1849, and the United States Agricultural Society later, called 
for a Department. 

In 1861, Thomas G. Clemson of South Carolina outlined a 
plan of work for a Department, emphasizing the need for agri- 
cultural experimentation. The new agency followed Clemson's 
proposals. The basic legislation was broad, directing the Depart- 
ment, among other duties, to acquire information by "practical 
and scientific experiments." 

The second agricultural reform law, the Homestead Act, gave 
160 acres of public land to heads of families or persons over 21 
years of age, who would improve the land and live on it for five 

This law did not achieve all that its proponents hoped. There 
were many cases of fraudulent entries and the law worked at 
cross-purposes with other land laws. Most of the public land was 
in the arid West, where 160 acres was too much land for irrigated 
farming and too little for dry-land farming or grazing. 

Nevertheless, the Homestead Act stood as a symbol of Ameri- 

Wayne D. Rasmussen is Program Leader, Agricultural History Group, Economic Re- 
search Service, USDA. 


can democracy to native-born and immigrant alike. And many 
settlers, particularly those willing to experiment in the new 
conditions, became successful farmers. 

The Homestead Act opened new land. The Transcontinental 
Railroad Act provided a means for farmers in part of the newly- 
settled land to get their products to market. The act provided 
the financing, mainly through land grants, to build the Union 
Pacific Railroad. Similar grants were made to other railroads later. 

The fourth agricultural reform act, the Morrill Land Grant 
College Act, granted land to each State for colleges of agriculture 
and the mechanic arts. For more than ten years, Jonathan Turner 
of Illinois had kept the idea before the American people. State 
agricultural colleges had been established on a permanent basis 
in Michigan and Pennsylvania in 18 5 5, in Maryland in 18 56, and 
in Iowa in 18 58. 

The United States Agricultural Society and many farm journal 
editors called for national assistance. Beginning in 18 57, Justin 
S. Morrill, representative in Congress from Vermont, introduced 
bills for this purpose. Finally, in 1862, his proposal became law. 
Eventually, every State accepted its terms and established one or 
more colleges of agriculture and engineering. 

Within a period of three months, President Lincoln had signed 
laws which provided a broad base for expansion of agricultural 
research and education and for settling the West. Still missing 
was provision for a nationwide system for State Experiment Sta- 
tions and a means for carrying the results of research directly 
to the farmers. These needs would be met in the future by pas- 
sage of the Hatch Experiment Station Act in 1887 and the Smith- 
Lever Act in 1914. 

Britain and the Blockade 

The new legislation came as the Civil War was pitting section 
against section. As the war began, the South counted on British 
needs for cotton to win recognition of the Confederate States 
and to break the Northern blockade of Southern ports. How- 
ever, poor harvests in England and some of Europe during the 
early 1860's led to an increased demand from England for West- 
ern wheat. This, and other considerations, outweighed the needs 
for cotton, and England did not challenge the blockade. 

Without a ready market for cotton and cut off from Western 
and Northern supplies of food, the South turned to subsistence 


Above, sod house in Nebraska, 1887. Note sash and glass window, and shaded 
"patio" at left with table and benches for outdoor dining. Below, emigration 
to the western country, wood engraving by Bobbett after F. C. Darley. 



agriculture during the war. Much experimenting was done in an 
effort to increase food supplies. 

Northern farmers, on the other hand, turned to commercial 
agriculture. With constantly rising prices, a seemingly unlimited 
demand for farm products, and the movement of a million farm- 
ers and farm workers from agricultural production to the army, 
the men and women remaining on the farms were willing to 
experiment with horse-drawn machinery. They turned par- 
ticularly to the reapers and threshers, because it was in harvest- 
ing grain that the labor shortage was most vital. 

These machines were quickly followed by horse-drawn plows, 
grain drills, hay mowers and rakes, and cultivators. They had 
been invented earlier, but many farmers had hesitated to invest 
in them so long as sufficient labor was available on the farms to 
carry out the work by hand and with oxen. 

Replacement of human power by animal power, the trend 
away from self-sufficient to commercial agriculture, the willing- 
ness of farmers to experiment with new machines and new prac- 
tices, and encouragement in these directions given by the new 
State Colleges of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agri- 
culture (USDA) , resulted in the first American agricultural rev- 

In the years during and just after the Civil War, farm produc- 
tion and production per farm worker increased at a substantially 
greater rate than before the war or than during the latter part 
of the 19th century. Such a relative increase in productivity was 
not to be seen again until World War II triggered the second 
American agricultural revolution. 

After the Civil War, farmers had to adapt to new situations. 
Many went West, joining immigrants from virtually every 
European nation in taking up land under the Homestead Act. 
These settlers had to adapt to a drier climate, different growing 
conditions, and changing markets. 

Cowboys and Longhorns 

Farmers moving West had to accommodate to the livestock 
economy which, in most areas, had preceded them. After the 
war, long-horned range cattle had been driven by the tens of 
thousands north to railheads in Kansas for shipment to eastern 
markets. Some of the herds were driven on to stock new pastures 
in the Northern Plains. There, on the public domain, the range 
cattle industry developed, similar in some ways to the open range 


Railhead at Ellsworth, Kans. Trains are leaving for Kansas City loaded with 

of the back-country of colonial Virginia and Carolina. The cow- 
boy, epitomizing the American free spirit and the ability to over- 
come adversity, became an American folk hero. 

For a few years, the open range seemed inexhaustible. But over- 
stocking and the hard winter of 1886-87 brought that era to a 
close. Ranchers had to turn to controlled range management, to 
more productive breeds of livestock, to water storage, and to 
irrigating land and raising hay. This transition was aided by the 
new State agricultural colleges and, a bit later, the experiment 

In the South, cotton dominated farm life. Faced by the prob- 
lems of Reconstruction, the larger landowners turned to share- 
cropping as a way of assuring a supply of labor. Often the crop- 
pers, the landowners, and the land itself suffered from this 
emphasis upon a single crop, particularly one grown by methods 
which brought erosion of the soil. 

The new Colleges of Agriculture and experiment stations, 
as well as USDA, experimented with higher-yielding varieties of 
cotton and with fertilizer, and urged the planters to practice 
soil conservation. Some scientists, such as George Washington 
Carver of Tuskegee Institute, urged diversification. He sought 
new uses for peanuts so that farmers might have a real alternative 
to cotton. 


Branding calves on Montana ranch. 

As the scientists and experiment stations showed the way, 
change began, but it came slowly. 

The East found itself in competition with the West after the 
war so far as grain and livestock were concerned. As cities con- 
tinued to grow, more and more farmers turned to dairying and 
market gardening. These changes brought new problems in both 
production and marketing. 

Establishment of butter and cheese cooperatives in New York 
and other Eastern States before and after the war was a major 
effort to deal with marketing problems. 

Farmers also needed advice on producing fruits and vegetables 
for market, and indeed on how to handle the many difficult prob- 
lems facing Eastern farmers as they tried to keep their farms in 
operation. This is one reason there was support in the East for 
establishing experiment stations. 


Billion Bushel Corn 

Rapid expansion in corn production in the Middle West took 
place after the war. In 1870, the nation harvested its first billion 
bushel crop. Many returning Civil War veterans settled on the 
prairies, using horse-drawn machinery on their new farms. The 
acreage in corn increased from 44 million to 62 million acres in 
the five years from 1875 to 1880, and the corn crop per farm 
doubled in the decade 1869-1879. 

By 1879, the Corn Belt was rather well defined, with produc- 
tion centered in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, with Kansas and 
Nebraska developing rapidly. Much of the crop was fed to hogs 
on farms. 

Invention of efficient, horse-drawn machinery had contributed 
to increased production. Development of new varieties was also 
important. Some resulted from planned efforts, some seemed ac- 



,.**"'. ' 

■MiK! . 

Railroad car that took displays to California farmers showing better varieties 
and other results of research. 

cidental. One famous variety, for example, Reid's Yellow Dent, 
originated in 1846 when Robert Reid took a late, rather light 
reddish colored variety from Ohio to Illinois. Because of a poor 
stand the next year, a small early yellow variety, probably a 
flint, was used in replanting the missing hills. The resulting mix- 
ture was grown by the family, and the new variety eventually 
came to dominate the Corn Belt. Other purposeful blendings by 
growers developed varieties well suited to different conditions in 
the Midwest. 

By 1880, the first American agricultural revolution was near- 
ing its end, but it had led to more productive farming through- 
out the United States. However, farmers had to produce and sell 
more or turn to different types of farming to stay even as world 
surpluses and competition from Canada, Argentina, and other 
new nations depressed prices. 

Thus farmers found themselves in the position where they 
wanted skilled help in increasing production and cutting costs. 
Such help could come only from experimental work aimed at 
helping farmers solve practical problems. 

It was becoming clearer that a nationwide system of experiment 
stations was needed to help the farmers continue to contribute 
to the growth of the national economy. 


Research From Soil to Oil: 
Doing Whatever is Needed 

By Roy L. Lovvorn and Don V. Robertson 

In Pennsylvania in 1895 a group conducted analyses on the rela- 
tive value of white and yellow varieties of corn. Yellow corn 
had been thought "richer." The analyses showed that for all 
practical purposes white and yellow corn are identical, except for 

In Minnesota in 1974 a group reported a study of the ecology 
of the Isle Royale moose, with special reference to its habitat. 
This research was done for the National Park Service, which was 
concerned about the wide fluctuations, due to die-off, of the 
moose population on the island. 

Both of these research programs were products of State Agri- 
cultural Experiment Stations. 

The first of the State Agricultural Experiment Stations was 
established in Connecticut a century ago. Since that time, the 
work of stations throughout the country has changed consider- 
ably, as you can see. But though it has changed, it paradoxically 
has remained the same. 

The work has changed in geographical scope, in research 
methods, and in subjects investigated. It has remained the same 
in that it has always been aimed at doing what needed to be done 
at the time. It always has reflected the needs of the public . . . 
although the public's needs have changed over the past 100 years. 

In the early years the scope of State agricultural research was 
limited by the boundaries of the State. The annual reports from 
Maine for the middle 1880's show that the station was engaged 
in fertilizer testing, varieties testing, and experimenting in com- 
position of cattle foods, digestive processes of cattle, and methods 
of raising [separating] cream. If you were to read reports from 

Roy L. Lovvorn is Administrator, Cooperative State Research Service, USDA. Don V. 
Robertson is Writer/Editor, Office of Audit, USDA. 





Research agronomist with International Plant Protection Center, Oregon State 
U., evaluates experimental weed control techniques in rice plots at U. of Hawaii. 

other eastern stations of the same period — from New York, 
Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Connecticut — you would see the 
same kinds of work being done by each State ... in isolation. 

The times themselves were against cooperation between States. 
Little money was available to support interaction (the treasurer's 
report for 1886 from Maine shows a total spent for salaries of 
$2,985), and the scientists of the day tended to be suspicious of 
group effort. 

But the stations began to realize that individually they could 
not meet the research needs of American agriculture. Workers, 
insofar as they were able, began to pool their resources and share 
information. Then through the years State and Federal govern- 
ments began to take the legislative steps needed to expand and 
nurture this cooperation. 

In the mid-1940's Congress responded to the leadership of the 
station directors in Indiana, New York, North Carolina, and Wis- 
consin by amending the Hatch Act to provide one of the essen- 
tial requirements for regional research: Funding. 

The Committee of Nine then came into being — nine persons 
elected by, and representing, experiment station directors in their 
regions. The Committee of Nine advises the U. S. Department 

3 2 

of Agriculture (USDA) on research needs of regional or national 

The Office of Experiment Stations, USDA, which had been 
created for the purpose of administering Hatch funds, became 
the Cooperative State Research Service — a change that reflected 
the cooperative endeavors among the States and between State 
and Federal agencies. 

By 1974 even greater emphasis was being placed on regional 
and national planning, planning that involved not only the State 
stations but Federal agencies and private organizations as well. 

Cooperation by USDA 

Many of the research efforts described in this book are results of 
cooperation between States. An example of the cooperation be- 
tween the States and Federal agencies is the sharing by USDA's 
Agricultural Research Service of its research employees with the 
State stations for cooperative studies of mutual benefit. 

The subjects of investigation also have changed over the years. 
The first work done by the newly established State experiment 
stations was fertilizer testing. The director of the North Carolina 
Experiment Station in his report for 1883 stated, "Our work con- 
tinues to be chiefly that of fertilizer control and that connected 
with the home production of manures. That is, after all, the sub- 
ject of the greatest interest and importance to our farming com- 
munity." He was correct in his statement regarding the interest 
in fertilizer. 

At that time, in the middle 1880's, farmers were being sold 
many kinds of materials for fertilizers — among them factory 
sweepings, tannery scrap, and ground crop wastes — with no as- 
surance of their value. The State experiment stations began test- 
ing these materials and found that many either were of little 
value, or were supposedly legitimate fertilizer materials that had 
been so heavily adulterated their sale as fertilizer materials 
amounted to little more than fraud. 

This protection of the farmers' interest helped win widespread 
public support for the new experiment station movement. 

Fertilizer control soon was transferred to regulatory agencies 
in the States and the experiment stations went forward to other 
work, mainly related to farm production. And much of the 
work now done at the State Agricultural Experiment Stations 
still is aimed at maintaining, or increasing, farm income by en- 
suring thrifty production. 


Christinas Tree Research 

The Nevada experiment station, for example, conducts variety 
trials on grasses for saline soils and conducts irrigation and drain- 
age studies. The Utah station also is concerned with "How to 
Develop and Use Water — Utah's Life Blood." (Utah Science, 
1966). And the South Dakota experiment station joins in with 
studies on trickle irrigation, a method for applying irrigation 
water that uses up to 20 percent less water than normally is 
required in sprinkler irrigation. In Vermont, the station has con- 
ducted research on the production of balsam fir Christmas trees 
that has made possible a 40 percent improvement in efficiency 
of production. 

The Nebraska station started animal research more than 75 
years ago, concentrating on feeding studies. Its research now 
includes animal nutrition, physiology, meats, and genetic studies 
of cattle, hogs, and sheep. Animal scientists at the Texas experi- 
ment station are studying reproductive efficiency in angora goats. 
And in Tennessee the experiment station animal scientists are 
working on a project for the Atomic Energy Commission study- 
ing the biological effects of radiation on domestic animals. 

The North Carolina experiment station is using a novel ap- 
proach to improve the efficiency of hog production. Currently, 
up to 25 percent of newborn pigs die. The station proposes to cut 
this death loss by removing the sow from the scene once she 
gives birth. In her place the station scientists have developed an 
artificial sow, called autosow, a metal carrousel into whose arms 
the baby pigs are placed immediately after they are born. There 
the piglets are fed small amounts at frequent intervals to escape 
their tendency to overwhelm themselves with food; they really 
are pigs, and their overeating can result in diarrhea and death. 
The scientists also placed the autosow in a controlled environment 
to escape the common pathogens of pigs. 

While much of the research currently done by the State Agri- 
cultural Experiment Stations is concerned with production, years 
ago almost all the research was so directed. In the 1920's some of 
the emphasis began to shift from the field and barn to the farm- 
house and market and town. The stations increased their research 
into home economics, marketing, and sociology. 

Thus the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station 
has worked on finding ways to conserve the nutritive value of 
food. At Illinois, economists working on a foreign trade project 
looked at U.S. agriculture's chances for supplying materials to 



the People's Republic of China. .And Iowa was concerned with 
analysis of beef-pork marketing, to determine levels of cattle 
and hog marketings that could bring the greatest net farm in- 
come. Included in the Iowa study was a sophisticated "econome- 
tric" model. 

Seafood Studies 

Some of the research being done at State Agricultural Experi- 
ment Stations scarcely is recognizable as agricultural research — 
Maryland's studies on commercial fishing and seafood processing 
industries of the Chesapeake Bay area, for example. This project 
used experiment station talents for the good of all that State's 

Another project benefiting all the State was conducted in 
North Carolina, to stabilize coastal sand dunes. 

Nature is in a state of constant change, including the Outer 
Banks of North Carolina. But roads and homes and towns and 
livelihoods depend on the coast, and its dunes, remaining much 
as they are now. 

How can the dunes be kept in place? Nature's way is with the 
roots of plants. So North Carolina agronomists searched for a 
grass better than Nature's general run of plants. They tested and 


selected and tested again in their search for a superior strain of 
American beachgrass. Finally they found a variety that seemed 
to do the job. They named the variety Hatteras, the first named 
variety of American beachgrass ever developed. 

In trials, 70 percent of Hatteras beachgrass survived the first 
year on the dunes whereas only 5 percent of common American 
beachgrass survived. And Hatteras trapped more than 5 yards of 
sand per running foot within 18 months; common American 
trapped only a trace. 

Development of a superior beachgrass does not solve the whole 
problem of Nature's changeableness, but it is a start. 

Like the sand dune project, much of the work of the State 
experiment stations is now aimed at solving problems that are 
not exclusively agricultural. In California, for example, the sta- 
tion studied the problem of lead concentrations in plants, soil, 

Some California research: Left, plants are put in plastic cylinder to study smog 
effect on nutrient values of vegetables. Below, Mexico-bom scientists examine 
enlargement of cell wall they synthesized with test tube methods, and photo- 
graphed through electron microscope. This reportedly is first time a visible 
cell wall has been synthesized in absence of a living cell or its membranes. 


and air near highways — concentrations caused by the antiknock 
constituent of gasoline. 

Pennsylvania tackled the whole problem of environmental 
disturbances by establishing an office of environmental quality 
affairs, a clearing house for matters dealing with the environ- 
ment, particularly those of interest to agriculture and the rural 

Coal Development 

North Dakota studied the effects on agriculture and rural 
communities of coal development in that State. The researchers 
said, "Coal development in the Northern Great Plains has a 
potential to transform the character of the region irrevocably." 
The study was a beginning, to see what kind of research was 

The Ohio experiment station also concerned itself with the 
effects of coal mining — the past effects — in a study on reclama- 
tion of toxic stripmine spoilbanks. Some spoilbanks have re- 
mained barren 25 years after mining has stopped. The major 
factor in the lack of productivity has been acid in the soil from 
oxidation of sulfur compounds. Investigators graded the spoil- 
banks into a series of nearly level terraces to allow slow infiltra- 
tion of rainwater to wash out the acids. They also buried toxic 
material under plant-supporting soil. Their initial results were 
best in deeply covered areas. 

Water was used to cleanse, in the Ohio study. But water also 
can pollute. 

Thermal and atomic power plants produce hot water as they 
produce electricity — hot water that must be disposed of and 
that can cause unwanted warming (thermal pollution) of 
streams it is dumped into. "When You're in Hot Water, Make the 
Most of It," said researchers from the Washington State experi- 
ment station (Advance, spring/summer 1974). In a neat solu- 
tion for the disposal problem, the Washington State station 
proposes using the hot water to heat irrigation water. The heated 
water will warm the soil in early spring to accelerate develop- 
ment of seedlings. Thus a problem adversely affecting an entire 
region may be changed to an advantage. 

And so the work of the State Agricultural Experiment Sta- 
tions has constantly expanded in influence: First, benefits were 
restricted to farmers within one State, then made available to the 


farmers of an entire region. Now the work of a station commonly 
is done for the benefit of the country as a whole. 

The Alaskan Pipeline 

A good illustration of work that benefits the whole country is 
that carried out in Alaska in relation to the Alaskan oil pipeline, 
which will carry crude oil from wells on the North Slope across 
the arctic tundra to the sea. 

Many Americans have been apprehensive about construction 
of this pipeline. They fear damage that the line, and its oil, 
might do to the wild and precious arctic environment. 

Arctic Alaska is a harsh place. Only a thin layer of soil ever 
thaws during the brief arctic summer. Soil drainage is non- 
existent. The only vegetation that can grow there is tundra — 
grasses, sedges, mosses, and lichens. Under the thin layer of vegeta- 
tion and wet surface soil the ground is permanently frozen, in 
some areas to a depth of a thousand feet. This permafrost often 
contains large deep wedges of solid ice. 

But the Arctic, while harsh, also is delicate. If the tundra is 
damaged, the frozen ground loses its insulation from the sun's 
rays and begins to thaw. Holes appear in the soil where the sur- 
face is scarred. Then gullies, and sometimes caverns, develop as 
the ice wedges melt. 

This fragile environment must endure the stress of heavy 
construction activity as the Alaskan pipeline is built along an 
800-mile path from Prudhoe Bay oilfields to the sea at Valdez. 
And these activities, no matter how responsibly and carefully 
controlled, are bound to leave their traces on the surface of the 

Agronomists from the Alaska Institute of Agricultural Science 
have been working on this problem, searching for plants that 
can quickly fill in these construction scars. They have been pay- 
ing particular attention to native plants which already have 
demonstrated their ability to grow under harsh arctic conditions. 
They need plants that can grow rapidly in the short arctic grow- 
ing season, which begins at Prudhoe Bay in mid-June and ceases 
by the end of August. And when they find suitable plants they 
must increase the seed stock and release the stock to commercial 
growers; there are no commercial seed supplies of these plants 
at present. 

But they will find suitable plants, and they will develop 
management methods for quickly establishing permanent plant 


cover. And you and I will benefit every time we go to the gas 

Science in Agriculture, the periodical of the Pennsylvania sta- 
tion, recently stated, "Since its inception more than a century 
ago, the College has worked with the contemporary problems of 
the people." If there is a "big picture" of the State Agricultural 
Experiment Stations, it is a mosaic picture of work done in re- 
sponse to the people's contemporary need. The chapters that fol- 
low all are tiles in this mosaic. 


Vitamins Are Discovered 
by Agricultural Research 

Bv Hubert B. Vickery and Paul Gough 

Vitamins play an important role in our lives. They are neces- 
sary for good health and growth, and are an important 
constituent of the foods we eat. 

But, surprisingly, vitamins were a discovery of 20th century 
agricultural research, not of the medical profession, and were 
the result of attempts to produce better feed mixtures for domes- 
ticated food animals. 

It had long been known that certain foods possess the ability 
to prevent or cure certain diseases, but exactly what it was about 
the foods which made them work in this manner was still a 
mystery at the turn of the century. 

In Wisconsin, research was begun to learn the composition of 
various foods in hopes of improving the feed for cows and hogs. 
To do this, the animals were fed varied diets. 

Many commonly used rations were found to be deficient in 
such tests. The record of experiments in the United States and 
abroad drew attention to properties of milk and whey which 
seemed to correct such deficiencies. 

But, while the problem was clear, it was obvious that experi- 
ments with cows and hogs were not going to bring about a quick 
solution because of the size of the animals and their relatively 
long lives. 

To run such experiments properly, scientists had to isolate 
the nutrients and to feed carefully measured amounts to animals. 
Because the available amounts of purified materials were so 
small, researchers had to turn to other, smaller animals to observe 
the effects of deficient diets. 

Hubert B. Vickery is Samuel W. Johnson Distinguished Scientist and Biochemist 
Emeritus at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, and was a colleague of 
vitamin pioneer Thomas B. Osborne. Paul Gough is Editor at the station. 


Left, Edwin T. Mertz displays two rats used in first experimental feeding trial 
tests with high lysine corn, in Indiana. Right, previously malnourished Colombia 
youngster weighs in as he approaches normal development thanks to diet 
largely of high lysine corn. 

Despite objections from the administration at the Wisconsin 
Experiment Station, Elmer V. McCollum started to use rats in 
his feeding tests in 1907. Imagine the uproar from using the 
farmer's worst enemy in feeding experiments at a tax-supported 
research institution! 

Fortunately for mankind, such work was allowed to proceed. 
About two years later, Thomas B. Osborne, a chemist who was 
the son-in-law of Samuel Johnson, who worked to establish 
experiment stations and was director at the Connecticut Sta- 
tion, invited Lafayette B. Mendel of Yale to join him in his 
research at the Station. 

The team studied the nutritive properties of proteins Osborne 
had prepared from the seeds of all of the ordinary crop plants. 

In their first experiments, Osborne and Mendel maintained 
albino rats upon diets made of pure protein, starch, lard, and a 
salt mixture. Although these rats lived for many months, they 
ultimately would begin to lose weight and died unless their 
diet was changed to include whole milk powder. 

After further studies, it appeared that the inorganic con- 
stituents of milk played an important part in recovery. For 


further experiments, Osborne and Mendel removed all of the 
milk proteins and evaporated the filtered whey to obtain a dry 
product that contained the sugar lactose and the minerals. 

Using this "protein-free milk" as the basic food, the Con- 
necticut scientists were able to maintain rats indefinitely on 
diets containing a single, purified protein. 

They were also able to demonstrate the nutritive inadequacy 
of certain proteins such as gliadin in wheat or zein in corn. Both 
are deficient in certain amino acids, the simpler components 
which make up proteins. 

Further work showed that animals fed a protein-deficient diet 
or a diet low in the amino acid lysine were stunted. However, 
they began to grow immediately after lysine was added to their 

This turned out to be the experiment which showed that cer- 
tain essential amino acids must be supplied by food because 
animals have a limited capacity to produce their own. 

Although Osborne and Mendel knew they could raise rats to 
old age on whole milk powder and that protein-free milk helped 
to maintain rats on artificial diets for long periods, something 
was missing. That something appeared to be the butter in the 
whole milk powder diets. 

Plot of high lysine corn on Purdue farm. 


Vitamin A Discovery 

Thus, butter was added to the diets of rats that were declining 
on protein-free milk diets. Recovery was almost immediate. The 
Connecticut scientists reported it appeared "as if a substance 
exerting a marked influence upon growth were present in but- 
ter." These words reported the discovery of what would later 
be called vitamin A. 

In the meantime, in Wisconsin, McCollum — working with 
Marguerite Davis — encountered failures similar to those ex- 
perienced by Osborne and Mendel in their rat-feeding experi- 

The Wisconsin scientists tried butter and an ether extract of 
eggs in their artificial diets and made the same discovery as Os- 
borne and Mendel in Connecticut. 

Although discovery is the goal of scientists, they must also pub- 
lish their results so that others may build upon them. McCollum 
and Davis submitted a report to the Journal of Biochemistry 
exactly three weeks before Osborne and Mendel submitted theirs. 
Because of this, the Wisconsin scientists are credited with the 
first report, but it is quite clear that the discoveries were made 

The facts learned by experiments of Osborne, Mendel, Mc- 
Collum and Davis developed within a few years into the vitamin 
theory of nutrition. Their discoveries led to the conquest of 
vitamin deficiency diseases such as scurvy, rickets, beri-beri, and 
others, and also improved the health of the general population. 

Children's Sight Saved 

Further investigations of Osborne and Mendel showed that 
the unknown factor — later called vitamin A — was present in 
cod liver oil, a substance long esteemed in medicine. After World 
War I the eyes of thousands of children in Europe were saved 
through the use of cod liver oil in their diets. 

Osborne and Mendel also showed that chickens could be raised 
to maturity on an artificial diet which contained the vitamin. 
This discovery thus laid the foundation for the present-day 
poultry industry. 

In Wisconsin, McCollum and Davis used the curative effect 
of butter on the vitamin A deficiency-caused eye disease as a test 
for the vitamin. 

Through extensive studies of rice and lactose they were able 




^^^t jl 


te' 1 . — """P 

Right, girl at work in rat laboratory in Connecticut, probably during 1940's. 
Left, where Osborne once grew rats to prove essentiality of amino acids and 
existence of vitamin A, Connecticut scientists now study efficiency of respira- 
tion in hopes of increasing the net uptake of photosynthate and thus the yield 
of crops. Here biochemist Israel Zelitch (left) tells his predecessor, Hubert 
Vickery, about experiment with a tobacco leaf. Vickery is author of this chapter. 

to conclude that there was a second type of essential nutritive 
factor. The first — vitamin A — was soluble in fat, while the 
second was soluble in water. The presence of vitamin B as a con- 
taminant in Osborne and Mendel's protein-free milk was un- 
doubtedly why this material was successful in early feeding tests. 

Much of our day-to-day awareness of the value of vitamins 
comes from the nutritional claims for the various food products 
we see and hear advertised. But in many countries vitamin de- 
ficiencies are part of everyday life because children and adults 
live on a single kind of food. 

The lasting scientific value of the work of the scientists in 
Connecticut and Wisconsin can be illustrated by the work of 
O. E. Nelson and E. T. Mertz at the Indiana Experiment Station 
at Purdue. 

They became interested in 1963 in the amino acid composition 
of the proteins of corn. One strain they studied was the so-called 
opaque-2 which was discovered in Connecticut in 1930. 


Analysis of opaque-2 revealed that this variety contains pro- 
teins rich in both lysine and tryptophan. 

Feeding tests with rats and pigs showed that both species grew 
much more rapidly on "high lysine" corn. Experiments by others 
in Central America and Colombia involving children whose 
normal diets consist largely of corn showed that they benefited 
greatly from high lysine corn. Also, children afflicted with the 
deficiency disease kwashiorkor recovered quickly if they were 
fed high lysine corn. 

These experiments in Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Indiana 
show agricultural research can not only fill stomachs, but fill them 
with nutritious food. 


The Great Depression: 
Farm Ills Hit the Cities 

By Gladys L. Baker and William G. Murray 

Five cent cotton and dust darkening the sky. Roads in Okla- 
homa and Texas filled with jalopies moving to the promised 
land of the west. And in the cities, bread lines stretching for 

Farming was sick with a disease which spread to the cities. As 
a writer of the 1930's put it: 

In the fact that farmers were less and less able to buy 
the things that the people in the cities were making, lies 
the explanation of how one surplus caused another, un- 
til farmers were burning wheat while bread lines length- 
ened in the cities, until the fantastic spectacle of poverty 
in the midst of plenty traversed America like a dance 
of death. 

The city workers who were on the street because of the farm- 
ers' shrinking purchasing power were not the only ones to suffer 
as a result of the critical crisis in agriculture. The inability of 
farmers to pay their debts jeopardized the life savings of other 
Americans who had invested funds in banks and insurance com- 

An alarming number of farm foreclosures were followed by 
large numbers of bank failures. In 1931, a total of 1,075 banks 
failed in towns of less than 5,000 population. After the March 
1933 moratorium on all banks imposed by President Roosevelt 
was lifted, more than 4,000 banks were unable to obtain licenses 
to reopen their doors. Most of the banks too weak to get licenses 
were country banks. 

Business in rural towns was practically at a standstill. Two 

Gladys L. Baker is Supervisory Historian, Agricultural History Group, Economic 
Research Service, USDA. William G. Murray was Professor of Economics, Iowa State 
University, Ames. He now is retired. 


thousand rural schools failed to open in 1933 because tax de- 
linquency had curtailed county funds. 

Widespread droughts in 1933 and 1934 brought the blinding 
dust of the plains to Washington, D. C. Farmers were losing 
their livelihood and the Nation was losing its heritage. Congress 
acted in 193 5 with legislation to control soil erosion. 

Two years earlier, Congress had acted with unprecedented 
speed to stimulate recovery in all sectors of the economy. The 
Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 was the first law passed 
to assist agriculture. Its objective was to raise farmers' purchas- 
ing power by controlling agricultural production. Many sug- 
gestions were made to the U. S. Department of Agriculture 
(USDA) on carrying out the law. 

Boll Weevil Corps 

One correspondent suggested that President Roosevelt set up 
a "Boll Weevil Corps" similar to the Civilian Conservation Corps 
which could be used to replace the cotton reduction program of 
the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. The suggestion, 
while primarily intended to satirize the New Deal farm pro- 
grams, also carried an implicit criticism of the scientific research 
programs. Some farmers and members of Congress were charg- 
ing that scientific research had caused the surplus production, 
which in turn caused the depression. 

It is not surprising that farmers became critical of the use of 
government funds for science during the depression. Farmers 
were in desperate plight because of the severity of the depression 
which first struck agriculture in 1920. Farm income, which 
reached $14.5 billion in 1919, dropped to $8.1 billion in 1921, 
and fell to a tragic low of $4.7 billion in 1932. 

Farmers were caught in a squeeze between low farm prices 
and high farm costs because the depression which struck agricul- 
ture did not hit the rest of the economy until the stock market 
collapsed in 1929. As a result of the big drop in farm prices and 
the comparatively small decline in farm costs, the average farmer 
after paying the expenses of production, interest, rent, and taxes 
had only about $23 left. 

Farmers in a number of States turned to direct action, block- 
ing roads and threatening judges and other officials. The State 
of Iowa enacted a mortgage moratorium law which declared that 
the safety and welfare of the State as a whole were endangered. 


The Governor of Minnesota had forbidden farm mortgage 
foreclosures and had offered to declare an embargo on the ship- 
ment of all farm produce and to enforce it with the State militia 
if the Governors of neighboring States would join with him. 

Noose for Judge's Neck 

Bands of farmers attended foreclosure sales, bid for items at a 
penny, and returned them to owners. Angry farmers in western 
Iowa held a noose around the neck of a judge who had signed 
a foreclosure order. 

Farmers demanded drastic action, not research to improve 
technology. The criticisms and the need for change to meet de- 
pression problems were discussed during the 1931 and 1932 
meetings of the land-grant colleges. 

In 1931 C. B. Hutchinson, Dean of the College of Agriculture, 
and Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station of the Uni- 
versity of California, discussed "The Influence of Agricultural 
Research on Our Social and Economic Order." 

He divided agricultural research into natural science and social 
science research, and said that attention had been focused on 
natural science research. It had been concerned with increasing 
production and improving the quality of products. 

National Guard holds protesting crowd in check at Iowa farm foreclosure sale. 



Abandoned Oklahoma farmland, showing the disastrous effects of wind erosion. 

The assumption had been made that social and economic prob- 
lems would take care of themselves if natural forces could be 
controlled. Social and economic problems were considered recent 
developments, but he said "our failure to recognize these prob- 
lems has contributed to their present magnitude." 

Another factor was the comparatively recent development of 
techniques which made quantitative analysis in the social sci- 
ences possible. Development of social science research was also 
limited by the lack of qualified researchers as well as statistical 

F. B. Mumford, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Direc- 
tor of the Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of 
Missouri, was assigned the topic, "Responsibility of the Agricul- 
tural Experiment Station for the Present Agricultural Situation" 
for the November 1932 meeting. 

He vigorously defended the record of the experiment stations, 
stating that their primary economic purpose was to provide the 


Evicted sharecroppers in Missouri. 

knowledge necessary for the farmer to adapt himself to chang- 
ing conditions. Mumford said that the farmers who were able 
to hold their own during the depression were those who most 
closely followed the advice of the experiment stations. 

Secretary of Agriculture Hyde in his annual report for 1932 
also defended scientific practices. He said that without them the 
farmer would be dependent upon diseases and pests to regulate 
output. He wrote that science is more necessary "when prices fall 
than when prices rise, because cost of production becomes in- 
creasingly important." 

In his 1933 report, Secretary Henry A. Wallace credited sci- 
ence with enabling man to conquer the problem of producing 
enough to go around. The special province of economics is, he 
suggested, to help man utilize this increased productivity. 

Because of his background as a scientist and economist, Secre- 
tary Wallace was particularly well qualified to recognize and 
stress the interrelationship of the physical and social sciences. 

Research in agricultural economics was being carried on in a 
number of the state colleges of agriculture in relation to farm 
management before 1925. Outstanding economists like George 
Warren of Cornell, Henry C. Taylor of Wisconsin, M. L. Wil- 
son of Montana, and Eric Englund of Kansas were developing 
agricultural economics as a separate field. Their studies of the 
depression provided some of the data and ideas basic to the pro- 
grams of the 1930's. 


For example, George Warren's studies of farm prices dur- 
ing the early twenties were used as the basis for the parity 
formula. Charles L. Stewart of Illinois was instrumental in de- 
veloping the export-debenture plan, which was introduced into 
Congress in 1926. M. L. Wilson of Montana was one of the de- 
velopers and promoters of the domestic allotment plan which 
was used as the basis for the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 

Agricultural economics became an important area of research 
after the passage of the Purnell Act of 1925. Besides increasing 
the funds available for scientific research, this legislation spe- 
cificially provided for investigations in the fields of agricultural 
economics, home economics, and rural sociology. 

Personnel carrying on economic investigations increased from 
100 persons in 192 5, concerned primarily with farm manage- 
ment, to more than 230 by the close of the second year covering 
the whole range of agricultural economics. In 1927, one third 
of the new projects under the Purnell Act were in economics and 
closely related lines. 

During the first five years after passage of the Purnell Act, 
a substantial increase was made in economic research projects 
and by 1930 many of the projects were related to changing na- 
tional economic conditions. 

The total number of projects in agricultural economics in- 
creased from 200 to 463. Active marketing projects rose from 
43 to 139 and the number of projects on agricultural prices from 
9 to 20. Projects in land economics increased from 18 to 31 and 
those in farm taxation from 5 to 18. 

The Purnell Act made it possible for the State Experiment 
Stations to widen the scope of their work. It provided funds that 
enabled the stations to greatly increase the number and improve 
the quality of research projects in agricultural economics, so- 
ciology, and home economics. 

The Bankhead -Jones Act of 193 5 added substantial funds for 
the conduct of scientific, technical, economic, and other research 
into laws and principles underlying basic problems of agriculture. 
Sixty percent of the funds were to be allotted among the States. 
The funds were not to be substituted for research on other activi- 
ties underway. 

The 1936 report on the work of the State Agricultural Experi- 
ment Stations called that year "an epoch in the history of agri- 


cultural experiment stations" because of the successful inaugura- 
tion of effective research under the Bankhe ad -Jones Act. Re- 
search programs and projects were extended in range and scope. 

A total of 8 1 8 new or revised formal agreements were initiated 
between the experiment stations and USDA bureaus. All of the 
State Experiment Stations participated in these projects. 

Among the major scientific cooperative research projects with 
USDA was the development of improved wheat varieties which 
included Komar developed by the Colorado Experiment Station, 
Thatcher by the Minnesota Experiment Station, and Canarva 
by the West Virginia Station. 

Fighting Drought 

Another area of cooperation was the development of drought- 
resistant strains of corn and the development of high-yielding 
hybrid corns by Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, 
Cornell, Ohio and other State Experiment Stations. 

Approximately one-sixth of the total state expenditures under 
the Bankhead-Jones Act was assigned to station projects in agri- 
cultural economics. They were concerned with adjustment in 
production by regions and type-of-farming areas to help farm- 
ers adapt to changing economic conditions, with projects on 
marketing agricultural products, and projects on land use and 
on soil and water conservation. 

Regional and national cooperative research programs started 
on an emergency basis as a part of the national recovery pro- 
gram in 1934 and 193 5 were modified and expanded to meet more 
permanent requirements. 

Projects of regional and nationwide scope directly related to 
government recovery programs included: 

• A nationwide study of mortgage foreclosures, tax de- 
linquencies, and land values in cooperation with the Civil Works 
Administration, which provided funds 

• Studies of subsistence homesteads and part-time farming 
carried on in cooperation with the U. S. Department of the In- 

• Studies of land-use and land-use policies in cooperation 
with USDA's Agricultural Adjustment Administration and the 
Federal Emergency Relief Administration 

• Research on credit policies and administration in coopera- 
tion with the Farm Credit Administration 


• Research projects on the control of production in coopera- 
tion with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration 

These activities necessitated curtailment of some of the on- 
going fundamental research. However, they provided valuable 
data for future analysis and interpretation and a broader con- 
ception of complex problems to be met which needed research. 

The value of research training as well as research as a basis 
for national recovery programs is illustrated by the fact that the 
new agencies in USDA drew heavily upon state research person- 
nel to carry out the new programs. During 1934, some 600 sta- 
tion staff members took special assignments during the year in 
connection with emergency activities. 

For example, Albert G. Black of Iowa State College was re- 
sponsible for administering the Corn-Hog Program of the Agri- 
cultural Adjustment Administration. In 1939, he was appointed 
Administrator of the Farm Credit Administration. 

When the subject of cooperative research between State 
Experiment Stations was discussed, during the Land-Grant Col- 
lege Association meetings in 1937, Director L. E. Call of the 
Kansas Experiment Station said : 

"... rugged individualism appears gradually to be 
giving way to group consciousness as workers have an 
opportunity to work together and to appreciate the 
advantages that accrue to them personally from a co- 
operative attack on a problem. Institutional pride and 
professional jealously is giving way to pride in the ac- 
complishment of the group as a whole ..." 

The recovery programs organized to combat the depression 
could not have succeeded without drawing upon the economic 
studies, the assembled basic data, and the scientific research pro- 
grams of the State Experiment Stations. In turn, the recovery 
programs provided new data for future analysis and provided 
stimulation for a broader conception of complex national and 
international problems. 

A measure of agriculture's recovery from the depression can be 
seen in the increase of farm income from $4.7 billion in 1932 to 
$9.2 billion by 1937. This increase in farm cash income was ac- 
companied by an increase in factory payrolls of about the same 
amount. Since these traditionally had gone up and down in about 
the same proportion, agricultural recovery was driving back the 
specter of want in the midst of plenty. 


Main Street Pokes Along 
While Urban Areas Boom 

By Joe M. Bohlen, Ronald C. Powers and John A. Wallize 

The Main Street of Thompson, Iowa, is waiting. 
It's waiting for a small industry with 50 to 60 employees 
to tire of the big city and move to the openness of Thomp- 
son. It's waiting for a young medical student to complete his 
studies and open a practice there. It's waiting for the decline in 
farm population to level off. It's waiting for more people to dis- 
cover the benefits of living in a clean, restful rural community 
such as Thompson. 

The only difficulty is that as Thompson's Main Street waits, 
the rest of the world is moving by. 

Those are the opening words from a profile of Thompson done 
by Charles W. (Chuck) Walk of the Mason City Globe-Gazette 
in one of a series of articles on small towns in northern Iowa. 

Thompson is one of those towns that fits the pattern of shrink- 
ing towns and growing cities. Its peak population since the turn 
of the century was 698 in 1950. The 1970 census showed an even 
600 persons — a decline of 14 percent. 

In dealing with all the towns of the nation, or even in Iowa, 
there are many exceptions to the rule, however. Most of the 
population decline has occurred in small towns under 1,500 
population not located near a growing center. 

But while you can find many exceptions to the "towns shrink, 
cities grow" concept, the generalization is still valid. For as 
Chuck Walk said, while Thompson is waiting, the world is mov- 
ing by. 

The farm population around many small towns has declined. 

Joe M. Bohlen is professor of rural sociology, Iowa State University, Ames. Ronald C. 
Powers is assistant director of the Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station 
and Cooperative Extension Service at Iowa State. John A. Wallize is associate extension 
editor at the university. 



■ ?' 


Abandoned farmsteads, such as one at left in Washington State, can lead to 
closed-down businesses in small towns. 

Nationally, farm population dropped from 32 million in 1910 
to about 9.3 million in 1974. Thus, fewer farmers and their 
families are trading in towns like Thompson. 

Adding to these problems of fewer farm families, and pos- 
sibly fewer families in town, those who remain often have the 
money, the transportation and good highways to go to a larger 
town nearby for shopping. There they find a wider selection of 
goods, additional services and conveniences, and lower prices. 
All these things the local merchant could provide with increased 
volume of business. Instead, business declines for the small town 

The result? Listen to Chuck Walk's description of Thompson's 
Main Street: 

"The empty store fronts are the most obvious evidence of 
Thompson's 'waiting.' They mark the businesses that have been 
lost: the drug store, the pool hall, a hardware store, a doctor's 
office, a barbershop, a couple of implement stores. 

"Corner locations are considered prime spots in downtown 
business districts. The bulk of Thompson's business district is 
centered in a one-block stretch with four such locations. Two 
of the corner buildings are empty, a third serves only as a part- 
time welfare office and the fourth houses a church." 

Autos Create Change 

Another town featured in the Globe-Gazette series was Ply- 
mouth, Iowa. It differs. Within easy commuting distance of 
Mason City, the core city of north-central Iowa, Plymouth has 
grown. Population in 1970 was 461, up 9 l / 4 percent from 1960. 
Here's what Reporter Martha Allen found in Plymouth: 


"The town is the creation of the automobile. The car turned 
Plymouth into a suburb, with residents living there, but driving 
to Mason City for work, shopping and entertainment. 

"It is a town with a growing population, but a dying down- 
town business district ... all that is left of a once thriving busi- 
ness district with 26 stores 20 years ago is a successful hardware 
store, one small grocery, a restaurant, a teen center, gas station 
and auto shop." 

A few years ago, economists got heated reactions when they 
described small towns as dying. Defenders pointed out that there 
are as many people living in small towns now as there ever were. 
For the State as a whole, that's true in Iowa, and maybe in the 
nation. With all the exceptions, it is probably more correct to say 
that small towns are changing. 

Small towns such as Plymouth and Thompson are dying as 
retail centers. The towns are alive as "bedroom" or retirement 
communities and convenience centers. But in relation to the 
rapid growth of the cities in the past 50 years and the need for a 
larger population in order to obtain low cost specialized services, 
small towns have "shrunk" even when they show some popula- 
tion growth. 

The vacant buildings on small town main streets quickly signal 
the change that has occurred in the business sector. Less obvious 
are the changes in the public sector. But the same factors are at 

Declining rural population and a loss of business in the small 
towns mean the costs of government and schools must be spread 
over fewer taxpayers. And just as the merchant needs greater 
volume, the new advances in education and government — such 
as special laboratories or computerization — require a larger popu- 
lation base to spread costs and keep them as low as possible per 

The "vacant buildings" in the public sector are the unoffered 
special courses in high schools, high per pupil costs for education, 
and deteriorating or nonexistent community services. 

Busting the "Oat Barrier" 

During the first 150 years of America's history, towns and cities 
both grew in size and number. It has been within the past 50 
years that cities continued to grow and towns began to shrink. 
The change began when the "oat barrier" was broken, as farms 
changed from animal power to mechanical power. 


Mechanical innovations, however, are just one of four general 
types of change that had profound influence upon farms, farm- 
ers, small towns and cities. In addition to mechanical innovations, 
there were genetic improvements in crops and livestock, and 
more recently chemical developments which also increased yields 
and boosted the output of a single farm worker. 

Behind all these changes was the fourth category — socio- 
economic change that allowed the technology to be adopted. 

For instance, farming was considered a way of life for cen- 
turies, and many people today still cling to that value. But to- 
day's believers in that philosophy have modified their attitude to 
allow change. 

Earlier, this "way of life" dictated that the family produce its 
own food and fiber, and barter or sell the surplus for a minimal 
amount of goods and services which could not be produced on 
the farm. The philosophy was one of subsistence and one of the 
good life working the soil. 

The paramount need for food about the time of World War 
I tended to emphasize production and the development of a busi- 
nesslike approach to farming. This attitude change permitted the 
transition to begin from subsistence farming to highly commer- 
cialized agricultural operations. 

Transportation technology aided changes in social attitudes, 
however. In the days of limited travel, the neighborhood was a 
close-knit group. Neighbors were needed and you did little to 
disrupt the harmony. And in those days it often was more im- 
portant how things were done, rather than the outcome. 

If all your neighbors thought a cleanly plowed and cultivated 
field was the essence of good farming, you kept a cleanly plowed 
and cultivated field. Stubble mulch farming could not have been 
adopted then, even though it might increase production or lower 

Communication technology allowed farmers to learn of new 
ideas and values. Transportation allowed them to select friends 
from a wider area, and the traditions of "good farming" from 
the neighborhood view began to give way. With mobility of men 
and equipment, the farmer no longer was forced to share labor, 
tools and ideas only with his immediate neighbors. 

Another change required was the attitude toward work. The 
attitude that hard work and sweat was holy and cleansed the 
soul had to be modified so that management and programming 
were recognized as "work" also. That attitude is not completely 

changed. Recent studies have shown that higher income farmers 
are those more likely to equate management with work. Lower 
income farmers tend to be those who still feel that hard work is 
the only key to success. 

This package of mechanical, chemical, genetic, socio-economic 
change on the farm began to spill over into the towns. It created 
other socio-economic change. In town, for instance, agricultural 
supply businesses and firms processing farm products showed 
new growth. 

In 1910, farmers bought only 25 percent of the inputs used in 
farming, generally providing their own seed, manure, and energy 
for the animals. In 1970, some 75 percent of all inputs were pur- 
chased off the farm — hybrid seed, fertilizer, pesticides, machinery 
and petroleum. Today, farm supply firms and elevators are often 
the only major industry for small rural communities in the Mid- 

A farmer hand picking corn with a team and wagon in the 
early 193 0's could pick 80 bushels a day. With an average 20- 
day picking season, he could pick 1,600 bushels. With 40-bushel 
per acre corn yields, one man could handle 40 acres of corn. 

Then came the one-row mechanical picker, then the two-row, 
and then the four-row combine and now larger units. With the 
4-row combine in the 1960's, one man could pick 1,200 bushels 
a day, or 24,000 bushels in 20 days. At 80 bushels per acre, that 
meant one man could handle 300 acres of corn. 

Another way to look at the change is in man hours. In the 
1920's it took one man about 270 hours to produce a bale of 
cotton. Today it takes 2 5 hours. For corn, it took 115 man-hours 
to produce 100 bushels in the 1920's. Now it takes 6 man hours. 

When farmers found they could handle more acreage with the 
new technology, they expanded. They bought land from their 
neighbors. Thus, some farmers moved off the land. Average 
farm size in the United States increased from 174 acres in 1940 to 
385 acres in 1974. 

It was these changes that set the stage for shrinking towns and 
growing cities. It required some painful adjustments for people 
and communities. And all of the adjustment probably is not over 
yet. Main Streeters in Thompson, Iowa, waiting for the decline 
in farm population to level off may have a long wait. 

Farmers attending Iowa Extension Service meetings indicate 
they would expand their operations to an average of 544 acres 
if the opportunity presented itself. This is more than double the 


Above, an old hand planter is contrasted in 1937 with the latest in corn plant- 
ing equipment at that time, in New Jersey. Below, even the shape of farmers' 
fields is determined by today's circular irrigation units, as in this Wisconsin 
operation. The irrigation unit covers 160 acres of potatoes. 


average size of Iowa farms today. Only a significant change in 
national policy is likely to alter the basic trend to fewer and 
larger farms. 

There has been more change in farming in the last 40 years 
than in the previous 4,000. Such massive change was bound to 
affect people and families in many ways. Through modern com- 
munications, farm families learned of the advantages of smaller 
families. Without diversified agriculture, the many chores for 
youngsters disappeared. Machinery required adult skills. Large 
familities were no longer needed. And rural population dropped 

Exodus to the Cities 

For those who left the farm and farm work, the cities often 
offered the greatest opportunity. Most often it was the young 
who made the move, while those who retired from the farm 
tended to stay nearby. Thus the rural areas and small towns tended 
to have more older residents, dropping birth rates there even more. 

It is not uncommon in many small towns for 20 to 25 percent 
of the population to be over age 65. More than a third of the 
houses in these towns may he occupied by the elderly. 

In recent years as many as 10 percent of the counties in the 
United States have had more deaths than births. A "natural 
decrease" in the population, demographers say. As one resident of 
such a county put it: "We've given up on the First Baby of the 
Year Award. The suspense wears off around Valentine's Day." 

This trend further complicates the problems of small towns. 
Elderly people often need additional community facilities, par- 
ticularly transportation and health services. Yet the declining 
population of these areas is putting pressure on services, and the 
number and quality of services tends to decrease rather than 

Many communities hoped that industrial growth would re- 
place the lost jobs in agricultural production. In some cases, there 
has been respectable industrial growth. But the amount of in- 
dustrial and agricultural services growth has not been adequate 
in most communities to offset the decline in agricultural produc- 
tion employment. 

Most of the new industrial growth took place in the cities, or 
nearby, where transportation, workers and services already 
existed. This growth brought even more people to the already 
congested areas. 


Mechanical cotton picker. 

While the small towns wrestle with problems of decline, cities 
struggle with problems of growth. Daniel Bell, a Harvard Uni- 
versity sociologist, estimates that it costs $18,000 per person to 
provide each new city resident with the "infrastructure" — 
schools, streets, sewer, water and governmental services. 

The problem of imbalance between rural and urban was not 
totally ignored by the State Agricultural Experiment Stations 
as it developed. But neither was there great public demand nor 
support for research on problems of communities. 

Most of the early work on communities was limited to descrip- 
tive case studies. C. J. Galpin's 1915 research in Wisconsin, "The 
Anatomy of a Rural Community," is a classic example. 

Population studies of rural areas in the 1940's by the Bureau of 
Agricultural Economics, U. S. Department of Agriculture, in- 
dicated general trends. And some population studies indicated the 
developments that were to come 20 years later, but apparently 
received little attention. 

In the 1950's there was a wave of social participation and 
formal organization research, including a study of agricultural 


Georgia town that once thrived on the cotton business. 

cooperatives and farm organizations. Much of the social par- 
ticipation research examined adoption of new ideas and focused 
primarily on agricultural technology. Some of it can be applied 
to community problems now, but that was not its original focus. 

Economic and population base studies became more sophis- 
ticated in the 1960's, compared with the earlier community case 
studies. They provided a base for analysis of the wave of change 
that now engulfs us. But much of the research on the effect of 
change at that time was concerned with farm families, rather 
than communities. There were studies of farm labor, jobs for 
farm youngsters, and entrance into farming. 

With the growth and congestion problems of the cities be- 
coming more pronounced in the 1960's and the problems of 
rural areas intensifying because of de-population, attention was 
focused on obtaining a better balance in growth. Rural develop- 
ment was on the horizon in the 1950's, but strong emphasis 
has come only in recent years. 

The advantages of a more balanced rural-urban growth can 
be seen in many ways. In the cities, there are crowded class- 
rooms and inadequate school buildings. In rural areas, school 
buildings often are being used as machine sheds and for grain and 
crop storage. 

But like the decrease in the number of farms, only a significant 
change in national policy regarding industrial location or popula- 
tion distribution is likely to change the basic trend of shrinking 
towns and growing cities. 

With today's awareness of problems, more industry may be 


lured to the rural areas. But the amount of industry needed to 
offset future changes is massive, without considering past popula- 
tion decline in the rural areas. It isn't likely that there are enough 
new industries or branch plants to solve the problems of all the 
nation's small towns. 

Nor will industrial growth be the magic solution for all the 
problems of all small towns. Many small towns now attract 
residents because of low living costs and low taxes. Sewer and 
water systems may be barely adequate. Revival of these towns 
with growth will cause increased competition for housing, and 
require upgrading of sewage and water treatment plants. Some 
of the low taxes and low cost living would evaporate in the heat 
of growth. 

Consequently, many small towns must adjust to the situation. 
One way to solve problems relating to declining population is 
to put the "community" into a wider economic base — to provide 
goods and services over a wider area to spread the cost. In prac- 
tical terms, this means consolidation of schools, government, 
medical services, shopping centers, and the merger of churches. 
It means, too, that rural residents may have to drive farther for 

Many of these types of changes have met resistance in the past 
because so much of the early life centered around the town. 
People don't want to lose "our" school, our church, our doctor, 
or our township, town or county officials. 

Just as with farming 30 years ago, the technology exists for 
community change. The major puzzle for rural development 
seems to be the change in attitudes necessary to allow adjustments 
in communities. 

Our concerns with the problems and adjustments should not 
let us overlook the success that has brought this situation about. 
Since the oat barrier was shattered, farm incomes have risen, agri- 
cultural productivity has increased, and there has been tremen- 
dous industrial development. For some, the transition from sub- 
sistence farming to a place in urban society has meant a better 
life. For others, the transition may have been a bitter adjustment. 

The challenge today appears to be to ease the problems of con- 
gested metropolitan areas while halting the decline of small towns; 
preserving the greatest benefits of both rural and urban living; 
and allowing individuals the widest possible latitude in making 
personal adjustments that will provide them with the life style 
they seek. 


Plant Disease Toll Is Cut 
With Resistant Varieties 

By Glenn S. Pound 

The greatest warfare in which mankind has engaged has been 
that of protecting his food supply from the ravages of in- 
sect, disease, and weed pests. Throughout most of recorded 
history man has simply had to live with these losses, and in the 
absence of any understanding as to their nature he simply ob- 
served and lived in a world of ignorance and superstition. Even 
in 1875, when the first Agricultural Experiment Station in 
America was established in Connecticut, farmers had only the 
slightest basis of knowledge with which to understand and control 

Insects and weeds were generally readily visible, as were their 
effects, but disease organisms were not so readily visible and the 
causes and nature of disease were little understood. The Irish 
famine of 1846—48, caused by the potato late blight disease, 
brought the scientific world to a new confrontation with dis- 
eases — their nature and control. In the post-famine years, as 
European scientists pursued the potato disease, the very serious 
mildew epidemic struck the grape vineyards of Europe, heighten- 
ing the rush to understanding of disease. Contributions began to 
pile upon contributions. 

Koch of Germany in 1876 had identified and isolated the bac- 
terium causing anthrax in sheep. In 1878 Burrill of Illinois dem- 
onstrated that bacteria incited the fire blight disease of pears. By 
the mid-1880's the germ theory of disease was finally established 
by Pasteur's dramatic immunization experiments with anthrax 
and rabies. In the discussion that follows, only a few illustrations 
are drawn from the vast array of success stories of how plant 
diseases have been controlled in America by biological means. 

Glenn S. Pound is Dean and Director of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, 
University of Wisconsin — Madison. 


It has been the use of genetics in plant breeding that has re- 
sulted in effective control of most of our more serious diseases of 
crop plants. In 1866 the Austrian monk, Gregor Mendel, per- 
formed some pollination experiments in garden peas that dem- 
onstrated the simple inheritability of certain plant characters. 
This renowned discovery was little used until about 1900. Its 
first use in regard to breeding for disease resistance was by Bif- 
fen in England. When Biffen reported that resistance to yellow 
rust in wheat was inherited as a simple character, his finding was 
not widely believed but it was both a goad and a guide to similar 
studies of a number of disease problems. 

By 1900, the cotton lands of the Sea Islands off the Carolina 
coast had become heavily infested with the Fusarium wilt fungus 
and this rapidly spread to the upland cotton belt of the mainland. 
The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) added W. A. 
Orton as a young scientist to its staff to study the problem. 

Orton, beginning with material already under observation and 
selection by farmers, through the use of simple plant selections 
soon developed highly resistant varieties of sea island types of cot- 
ton. His selection work was extended to upland cotton varieties 
and, in cooperation with breeders in the cotton States of the 
Southeast, a number of resistant varieties were developed. 

Left, Oklahoma biochemists inject bacteria into cotton plant to try to induce 
hypersensitive reaction, plant's defense mechanism against bacteria that cause 
cotton blight. Right, a 19th century Connecticut pathologist etched his initials 
on this potato in the field with paste from fungus he believed caused potato 
scab. When he dug tuber in fall, he found his monogram neatly etched by the 
obliging fungus, and proved his case. 


With success against the cotton wilt disease at hand, Orton 
directed his attention to the Fusarium diseases of watermelon and 
cowpea. In developing the Conquerer watermelon, he did not 
follow the mass selection technique used in cotton but crossed 
the resistant but nonedible citron with susceptible watermelons 
and selected resistant plants from the hybrid progenies. This was 
one of the first attempts of a breeder to produce a new variety 
by genetical synthesis, a technique to be used over and over 
again in subsequent years. 

The Conquerer melon did not have enough desirable charac- 
teristics for it to become popular with farmers but it provided 
resistant germ plasm from which many other varieties were to be 

At the same time Orton was conquering wilt of cotton in the 
Southeast, H. L. Bolley of North Dakota was studying a very 
similar Fusarium wilt of flax in the northern plains. Shortly after 
1900, the resistant varieties North Dakota Resistant 52, North 
Dakota Resistant 114, and Bison were developed by mass selec- 
tion from plant survivors on badly infested soil. Bolley's achieve- 
ment in bringing flax wilt under control stood beside that of 
Orton's in historical significance of plant disease control by use 
of resistant varieties. 

Saving the Kraut 

Also, in the early years of the century, a Fusarium disease 
(yellows) of cabbage threatened the cabbage industry of the 
Northern States. In 1909, L. R. Jones moved from Vermont to 
Wisconsin to establish the Department of Plant Pathology at the 
University of Wisconsin. His first attention was given to the cab- 
bage yellows problem. 

With the success of W. A. Orton, whom Jones had trained at 
Vermont, fresh in mind, Jones began selecting resistant plants 
from severely infested fields and by 1916 the first yellows- resistant 
variety of cabbage (Wisconsin Hollander No. 8) was released. 
The kraut industry was saved. 

The resistance of Wisconsin Hollander was found to depend 
upon air temperatures being 25 °C or below, and in excessively 
hot summers it was not satisfactory. That led J. C. Walker of 
Wisconsin to search for a more stable resistance, which he readily 
found in cabbage and isolated by controlled bud pollination. 
This resistance was a single dominant factor and was easily manip- 
ulated to produce varieties which were virtually immune. 


During the period 1920—1950, a large number of resistant 
cabbage varieties were developed to meet the varying and chang- 
ing demands of the kraut and fresh market industry. 

Resistance to other cabbage diseases has been added to Fusarium 
resistance and many varieties today carry resistance to yellows, 
mosaic, clubroot, physiological tipburn and black rot. Many 
other Fusarium diseases of crops have been brought under con- 
trol by development of resistant varieties, including tomato, 
radish, spinach, pea, muskmelon, flax, and others. 

As soon as the yellows resistant varieties were released, the kraut 
industry was placed in a second jeopardy by two new diseases, 
black leg and black rot. These diseases were carried internally 
by the seeds and were regularly transmitted by seeds grown in 
Europe or the eastern United States. 

Clayton (New York) and Walker (Wisconsin) both dem- 
onstrated that seed could be freed of contamination by soaking 
the seed in hot water, but this often resulted in losses in germina- 
tion. Walker showed that seed produced in the Puget Sound area 
was free of contamination because of the absence of splashing 
rains required for moving the fungus spores onto the seed pods. 
For over 50 years this has been the standard control of the black 
leg disease. 

Use of semi-arid areas for production of disease free seed has 
been subsequently highly successful in control of a number of 
important seed-borne diseases, particularly in bean, pea, cucur- 
bits, and crucifers. 

Those Tricky Rusts 

The control of Fusarium wilt diseases has been a much simpler 
task generally than control of the rust diseases of wheat, due to 
pathogens of less genetic variability. But the wheat rusts have 
yielded to the breeders, nonetheless. 

American wheat development began by importations of estab- 
lished varieties from Europe. The Hard Red Winter wheat belt 
was established with the introduction of Turkey. The Durum 
wheat belt was established with the introduction of Arnautka to 
the Dakotas. The Soft Red Winter Wheat belt was established by 
introducing Mediterranean. And the White Wheat areas were 
established with the introduction of Baart from Australia. Mark 
Carleton of USDA pioneered in introducing hard red winter 
wheats and durum wheats to the United States from exploration 
trips to Europe and Russia. 


Some of these varieties were improved by farmer selections 
and in the late years of the 19th century some varieties were 
started by hybridization, again with the early work being done 
by farmers. 

Perhaps the most important single wheat of all history was 
that of a plant of spring wheat from a winter wheat variety im- 
ported to Canada from Scotland by David Fife. From this one 
plant the Red Fife variety was developed and introduced to the 
United States in 1860. Red Fife in turn was used by C. E. Saun- 
ders of Canada to develop Marquis, a variety of superior quality 
and whose germplasm was to be passed on to Ceres, Hope, Mar- 
quillo, Reliance, Thatcher, Sturgeon, Comet and other varieties 
which brought great stability to our wheat belts because of their 
improved quality and disease resistance. 

The rust diseases of wheat, particularly black stem rust (Piic- 
cinia graminis tritici) were baffling to the wheat breeders. A 
variety resistant in one location or at one point in time often was 
susceptible under different conditions. It had been shown (1894) 
by Erikkson and Henning of Europe that the black stem rust 
fungus existed as a number of subspecies, each of which para- 
sitized a specific host species such as wheat, rye, oats, etc. In 1917, 
Stakman and Piemeisel (Minnesota) discovered that the organ- 
ism existed not only as a number of subspecies, but also as a wide 
range of physiological races within a subspecies which were 
pathogenic to specific varieties of the host plant. 

Sex and the Barberry 

It had been known since 1865 that the fungus spent part of 
its life on the common barberry plant. It is on this plant that the 
sexual cycle of the fungus occurs and where new races develop 
when genetically different nuclei come together in sexual fusion. 

This information provided the breeders with an understanding 
of how a popular resistant variety suddenly became susceptible 
and of the importance of the barberry in the ecology of the 

In 1918, a massive barberry eradication program was launched 
in the United States, a program which has been maintained to 
the present, and one which has brought considerable stability to 
the breeding programs by reducing the potential number of 
pathogenic races. 

As previously mentioned, the introduction of the Marquis 
variety to the United States in 1913 provided breeding stock of 


Milling and baking characteristics of breeding lines of wheat are thoroughly 
tested before new varieties are released to Oklahoma growers. 

superior milling quality and of early enough maturity to permit 
it to escape a considerable amount of rust. In 1918, L. R. Wal- 
dron (North Dakota) crossed Marquis x Kota from which he 
developed the variety Ceres which was released in 1926. 

Ceres carried the superior quality of Marquis and was resistant 
to certain races of p. gramims tritici. It rose rapidly in popularity 
and by 193 5 was grown on 5 million acres, centered in North 
Dakota. But Ceres was not resistant to all races of black stem rust 
and after 193 5 its popularity began a sudden decline because of 
the buildup of race 56. 

The breeders were now working ahead of the rust and as Ceres 
ran into trouble, two new varieties, Marquillo (Marquis x Iumil- 
lo) and Thatcher (Iumillo x Kanred x Marquis) were released 
in 1929 and 1934, respectively, by H. K. Hayes (Minnesota) and 
his State and Federal colleagues. These two varieties of hard red 
spring wheat had a much higher level of stem rust resistance 
contributed by the durum parent, Iumillo. 

Still another wheat variety which filled a great need by lifting 
rust resistance to a still higher level was that of Hope, introduced 
by E. S. McFadden of USDA (South Dakota) in 1926. Hope 
was derived from a cross of Marquis x Yaroslav emmer and it pos- 


Left, experimental wheat in these Oklahoma plots has resistance to leaf rust 
disease. Scientists used X-rays to "break" chromosomes of wheatgrass, then 
transferred to wheat the part carrying gene for rust resistance. Right, Washing- 
ton State pathologist inspects wheat roots for disease. He grows wheat in mist 
chambers without soil or water. 

sessed the highest level of resistance to stem rust of any previous 
variety. In addition it was resistant to leaf rust, bunt and 
loose smut. Hope was never grown widely because of other fac- 
tors but was widely used as breeding germ plasm. 

The breeders and pathologists had thus learned to incorporate 
resistance to a large number of rust races in a single variety, 
and a period of stability was experienced during the 1940's. In 
the late 1940's a new race (MB) was found and since all com- 
monly grown varieties were susceptible to it, a new rust epidemic 
was feared. 

This fear became reality as race 1SB built up,- and in the early 
19S0's losses in the Dakotas and Minnesota were devastating. 

Breeders moved rapidly to incorporate resistance from some 
Kenya wheats into their breeding lines and by the end of the 
1950's the race 1 SB epidemic had been brought under control. 

The 1 SB epidemic resulted in new realization of the need for 
international approaches to rust control in regard to detecting 
the existence and location of rust races and resistance to these 
races. International nurseries have been established whereby the 
world can have a free flow of this much needed information. 


A similar history of control of other rusts, smuts, and mildews 
of wheat and of our other grain crops, particularly barley and 
oats, can be written. Pathologists and breeders have been singu- 
larly successful in cutting the losses and improving yields and 

Curly Top and Sugar 

The United States has extremely limited possibilities of sugar 
cane production because of its temperate climate and thus has 
had to rely on sugar beets for domestic production of sugar. Tech- 
nology for sugar beet production was imported from Europe, 
and by the early years of this century sugar beets were grown 
widely in our Western States. The industry was soon beset with 
heavy losses and even area wide crop failures due to curly top 
disease, a virus disease transmitted by leafhoppers. 

This important industry was faced with total failure and in 
1929 theU. S. Congress appropriated funds for research on curly 
top and its insect vector. Under the leadership of Eubanks Carsner 
of the USDA, experiments were begun to discover a source of 
curly top resistance. Initial efforts were directed at varietal im- 
provement by selecting individual resistant plants from a heavily 
infected field. By this method a tolerant variety was released in 
1934, named U. S. No. 1 and came into widespread use by the 

U. S. No. 1 had been rushed into use, purely as a stopgap meas- 
ure, because of the emergency. With more time, U. S. 33 and 
U. S. 34 varieties were developed by mass selection within U. S. 
No. 1. These varieties were a marked improvement in resistance 
and agronomic characteristics. 

Pure line breeding was soon employed and resistance to Cer- 
cospora leaf spot was added with the first resistant leaf spot 
variety (U.S. 217) being released in 1938. Next, hybrids were 
produced, the first being U. S. 200 x 21)', which not only pro- 
vided resistance to the two diseases but possessed vastly superior 
agronomic qualities. The United States was thus assured a signif- 
icant domestic production of sugar. 

An indication of the advance made by these varieties is that in 
1934, over 85 percent of the planted sugar beet acreage was 
abandoned because of curly top, and the average national yield 
was 4.9 tons per acre. In 1941, itself a bad curly top year, 97 
percent of planted acreage was harvested and national yields 
averaged 13.5 tons per acre. 


Cold Potatoes 

Disease control in vegetatively propagated plants is particularly 
difficult because of inherent "seed" transmission and the story of 
bringing potato diseases under control is different. A number 
of virus diseases, such as mosaic, latent mosaic, rugose mosaic, 
and leaf roll became so widespread in potato in both Europe and 
America that seed stocks were thought to have "run out", or de- 

About 1914, W. A. Or ton of USD A travelled to Europe to 
survey the disease picture on the continent. On his return he ad- 
vocated an approach to control by isolating virus-free tubers 
and growing them under conditions whereby they could be cer- 
tified as being disease-free. 

Pathologists made detailed studies of the virus complex and 
gradually identified the causal viruses. Tompkins and Johnson 
(University of Wisconsin) showed that mosaic symptom expres- 
sion was markedly dependent upon plant exposure to air tem- 
peratures of 23 °C or lower, and that even short exposures to such 
temperatures brought out symptoms. At higher temperatures 
symptoms were masked. This discovery made greenhouse culture 
very important in assaying seed stock. It also meant that samples 
of potatoes in storage could be planted out in the South in winter 
or early spring and their virus content determined before plant- 
ing time in the North. 

The Northern States became the seed producers because of 
their better isolation and more severe climate which would more 
likely kill insects transmitting the viruses. 

Several State Agricultural Experiment Stations developed 
foundation seed farms on which disease-free mother stock would 
be developed for sale to growers who would increase the stock 
for retail sale. Many private firms offered similar services. 

On these farms, which had strict geographic isolation, disease- 
free stocks were built up. Increase of the foundation stock is 
grown by the primary producers under field inspection. Further 
inspection and assay are made of seed tubers in storage by green- 
house, or southern field plantings. Only stocks maintaining dis- 
ease freedom in all these steps are certified as disease-free. 

Since 1950 the potato fields of America have been remarkably 
free of virus diseases and bacterial ring rot, and trouble arises 
only when growers attempt to compromise with sanitation re- 


The Vets Save Our Beef 
and Milk, and the Bacon 

By Rue Jensen 

During the years 1850 to 1930, some highly successful veter- 
inary research was originated. Of all the advances made, 
five were especially outstanding. 

These five notable successes were: Eradicating bovine pleuro- 
pneumonia, brucellosis immunization, hog cholera immuniza- 
tion, eradicating cattle tick fever, and invention of the rumen 
fistula — a window on the stomach of animals. 

The successes were great ideas, important because of their na- 
tional scope, lasting effects and broad benefits to both man and 

The great ideas were helped along by the origination of in- 
fluential organizations for veterinary research: the Federal 
Bureau of Animal Industry and the State Agricultural Experi- 
ment Stations. Each of these organizations employed veterinary 
scientists to research diseases and solve the problems of livestock 

Although many experiment station scientists concentrated 
on problems within their individual states, they collectively re- 
searched the animal diseases of the Nation. 

In addition, State and Federal workers collaborated in their 
investigations. They frequently studied different aspects of 
common problems. Cooperation came from scientists in regional 
areas and from national and State conferences on technical sub- 
jects. In disease eradication programs, State and Federal coopera- 
tion was necessarily close and detailed. 

One of the first problems tackled was the disease called con- 
tagious bovine pleuropneumonia, or CBPP. This disease had 
ravaged the cattle of most continents. It decimated European 

Rue Jensen is Director, Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine and 
Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins. 


herds in the 19th century. Through commerce in sick animals, 
the disease spread first to Australia, then to South Africa and 
finally to the United States. 

CBPP prevailed in the United States for a half century. It was 
brought into this country in infected European cattle at New 
York, New Jersey and Massachusetts in the 1840's and 18 50's. 

Once in those areas, the infected animals transmitted the disease 
to local herds. From these areas, cattlemen traded and transported 
newly infected cattle, thus disseminating the disease further. 

Initial spread was along the East Coast. But by 1883 the disease 
had shown up in Ohio and later moved on to Kentucky, Illinois, 
Indiana and Missouri. Local alarm developed into national con- 
cern when in 1887 the disease entered Chicago's Union Stock 
Yards, the national center for cattle trading. 

It became obvious to owners of infected herds that CBPP was 
costing them a great deal of money. The direct cost was dead 
cattle. The death rate was from 30 to 50 per cent in an infected 

Indirect costs were a diminished meat and milk production. 
Overall, the prospects for great and continuing losses were star- 
tling. These economic realities were the impetus for disease-con- 
trol measures. 

Public opinion and public policy naturally favored official 
programs to control and eliminate the disease. During early dec- 
ades of the epidemic, some infected states began containment 
plans. But the plans failed because of inadequate state statutes, 
appropriations and personnel. The disease continued to spread 
steadily and take its economic toll. 

Colorado veterinarians in the field. 


Animal is tested in Colorado 
project on brisket disease, high 
altitude disorder of heart and 

Despite State failures, proponents for control were sure 
CBPP could be eradicated. They understood that the causative 
germ lived in the lungs of infected cattle, that the germs left in- 
fected cattle in exhaled air, and that the germs entered the lungs 
of susceptible animals with inhaled air. 

They reasoned, therefore, that identification and destruction 
of diseased cattle would remove the sources of infection. These 
facts were central to their idea for eradication and to their rec- 
ommendations for action. 

In 1887, Congress, in response to recommendations, doubled 
the appropriation for the new Bureau of Animal Industry and 
increased its authority. This agency in the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture was directed to initiate and carry out a national 
CBPP eradicative program. 

The Bureau immediately hired personnel for the job and 
instituted its plan. The operating principles were: 1) quarantine 
suspicious herds, 2) examine all individual animals, 3) purchase 
and destroy all affected animals, 4) clean and disinfect con- 
taminated properties, and 5 ) maintain strict herd quarantine for 
three months after the last evidence of infection. 

Progress was discernible within a few months. After five years, 
the devastating disease disappeared. 

In a short time and at modest cost, officials eradicated CBPP 
and brought benefits to all — to American cattlemen, a livestock 
industry of 125 million gainful animals; to American consumers, 
a plentiful supply of nutritious beef; and to American environ- 
ments, an animal component rid of contagious and debilitating 


Products Infect People 

The second of the great ideas was to immunize cattle against 
brucellosis with a live but harmless strain of the causative bac- 

In America, bovine brucellosis was an important disease. It 
caused abortions in cattle, and its wide distribution and general 
prevalence cost America about $8 5 million annually. 

Brucellosis is an acute or chronic contagious disease of domes- 
tic animals and people. The cause is bacterial germs of the genus 
Brucella: Br. abortus in cattle, Br. stiis in swine, and Br. melitensis 
in goats and sheep. 

Each of the species occasionally infects people. 

In bovine brucellosis, the individually infected animal was the 
factor crucial to whether the disease would be maintained, spread 
or eliminated. At the time of abortion the causative germ was 
shed into the environment in vast numbers through aborted 
calves, uterine discharge, or milk. 

The disease generally spread to other cattle by germ ingestion 
and inhalation. Infected raw meat and raw milk used as food 
spread the disease to the consuming public. 

Affected cattle reacted to the disease by producing specific 
antibodies in their blood. Consequently, technicians were able 
to identify infected animals by a simple blood test. 

I. F. Huddleston of Michigan first suggested using live strains 
of low virulence to immunize cattle against field strains of high 
virulence. Investigators rapidly researched this principle. 

J. M. Buck of the U.S. Department of Agriculture tested five 
separate vaccines made from different live strains. One, des- 
ignated strain 19, was safe to use and effective for immunizing, 
with stable features, and feasible for manufacture. 

Investigators in the United States, Britain and the Soviet 
Union found and evaluated other low-virulence strains. Although 
some possessed considerable value as immunizing agents, none 
equaled strain 19. 

As a result, strain 19 was standardized and manufactured into 
vaccine. Millions of doses were used on American cattle and 
millions more on cattle and sheep of other livestock-producing 
countries. Veterinary scientists had found a useful vaccine against 
bovine brucellosis. 

During early decades of the 20th century, at least 6 per cent 
of American cattle developed brucellosis, aborted calves, and 
spread germs in their milk. About 5,000 people annually con- 


USDA and California scientists teamed up to find out if TC-83 vaccine gives 
long-lasting immunity against dreaded horse disease VEE, Venezuelan equine 
encephalomyelitis, and decided it did. Top right, inspecting electronmicrographs 
of virus. Top left, veterinarian at work. Mosquitoes like one in circle carry VEE 
from south of border. Above right, allowing mosquitoes in chamber to feed on 
horse. Above left, filling trays for test to identify virus strains. 


tracted the disease, suffered its miseries and endured its incapacita- 

Because of two events — vaccine availability and disease prev- 
alence — State and Federal officials initiated a brucellosis control 
and eradication program in the 1930s which reduced the disease 
to a low level. 

Eventually, brucellosis, a killer of calves and a maker of miser- 
ies, will disappear from American cattle and people. 

The third great idea was immunizing swine against hog cholera 
with virulent virus and immune serum. 

The first American outbreaks of hog cholera were in Ohio in 
1833. From there it spread to all states. Before vaccine develop- 
ment, annual cholera losses in the United States ranged from 4 
to 10 per cent in swine numbers and from $11 million to $40 mil- 
lion in market value. 

Virus Lethal 

Hog cholera, an acute contagious disease, is characterized by 
fever and hemorrhage and is caused by a lethal virus. Its national 
distribution, high incidence and decimating mortality made hog 
cholera the major disease of pigs and a serious concern to the en- 
tire industry. 

Following establishment of the Bureau of Animal Industry, 
considerable research was concentrated on the cause of hog 
cholera. In 1885, Dr. D. E. Salmon, the first chief of this Federal 
bureau, discovered the bacillus Salmonella suipestifer in cholera- 
sick swine. He assumed the bacillus was the primary cause of hog 

However, some disturbing information contradicted Salmon's 
interpretation: Animals recovered from natural cholera were im- 
mune to new attacks, while those recovered from the bacillus- 
induced disease were susceptible. Also, the bloods of animals af- 
fected with cholera were infectious to susceptible swine, but the 
bloods of animals affected with the bacillus-induced disease 
were not. 

These discordant facts in 1903 led E. A. de Schweinitz and 
M. Dorset to perform the crucial experiment: They passed blood 
from an animal sick with cholera through bacteria-retaining 
filters and obtained a bacteria-free portion and a portion contain- 
ing Salmonella suipestifer. 

These two parts, separately injected into susceptible swine, each 
induced hog cholera. By this simple procedure the scientists deter- 


mined that a virus, not Salmonella stiipestifer, caused the disease. 
Soon after the virus was discovered, the research program was 
moved to Iowa where scientists, including C. N. McBryde and 
W. B. Niles, pursued the principle of immunization with virulent 
blood and immune serum. Most affected pigs died, but experi- 
mental hog No. 844 had recovered from natural cholera. The 
scientists injected into this animal incremented amounts of viral 
blood. Its tolerance to the virus indicated hyperimmunity. 

Eleven days after the last injection the researchers collected 
serum from the hyperimmunized animal. In another crucial 
experiment they simultaneously injected some cholera-susceptible 
swine with the hyperimmune serum and viral blood, and others 
with viral blood only. Animals receiving both serum and virus 
remained healthy, and those receiving virus only contracted the 
disease. From, this successful experiment a scientific base for 
immunizing with serum and virus emerged. 

Veterinarians applied the vaccine to commercial swine by 
simultaneously injecting each animal with correct amounts of 
viral blood and immune serum. 

The injected virus stimulated the animal to produce its own 
lasting immunity, and the immune serum temporarily protected 
the animal against the disease-producing virus. The vaccine was 
developed about 1906 and soon thereafter became commercially 

Early in the research program, however, officials recognized the 
disadvantages of using virulent virus as part of the vaccine. The 
virus alone could infect and kill swine. Therefore, it could in- 
definitely maintain hog cholera within an environment. 

Because of these dangers, Dr. Dorset investigated vaccine 
safety and discovered that a mixture of crystal violet — a dye, and 
glycerol — an alcohol, did inactivate the virus without destroy- 
ing its immunizing ability. With this research, a scientific base 
for the crystal violet vaccine also emerged. 

The crystal violet vaccine was developed in 193 5 and scientists 
made it available years later. 

The simultaneous vaccine, used extensively for more than 50 
years, enabled the swine industry to exceed 60 million animals in 
the United States and 500 million animals in the world. 

Conscientious use of the vaccine reduced losses to a low level. 
Later, workers substituted the crystal violet vaccine for the 
simultaneous vaccine. The change rapidly reduced the number of 
cholera outbreaks, and will lead to eradication of the disease. 


A First for the Tick 

The fourth great idea was the discovery that cattle tick fever 
was spread by the bite of a tick. 

During the 19th century, cattle tick fever was widespread 
through the southern United States. It caused extensive economic 
losses estimated at $40 million annually. 

Before 1891, southern producers moved vast herds of cattle 
into the West, Midwest and Northeast for pasture and market. 
Except for the presence of numerous parasitic ticks, the cattle 
appeared healthy. 

Local veterinarians and cattlemen noted, however, that native 
cattle contracted tick fever after contact with the southern 
animals or after grazing on land which earlier had been grazed by 
the southern cattle. 

Soon after establishment of USDA's Federal Bureau of Animal 
Industry, three of its veterinary scientists — Drs. T. Smith, F. L. 
Kilborne and C. Curtice — initiated a research program on cattle 
tick fever. 

In 1889, they microscopically examined fresh and stained 
blood from an animal sick with the disease and found paired 
protozoan parasites in the red cells. Subsequently, the scientists 
readily found the parasites in the blood cells of sick animals in 
all of 14 disease outbreaks but none in the bloods of cattle from 
healthy herds. 

Furthermore, by injecting blood containing the protozoa into 
healthy cattle, they produced the disease and found the organ- 
isms in the injected animals' blood cells. 

With this convincing evidence, Smith and Kilborne in 1889 de- 
clared the protozoan as the specific cause of cattle tick fever and 
eventually gave it the name Babesia bigemina. 

The workers then turned specifically to the ticks. During a 
four-year study they repeatedly demonstrated that: 

— When susceptible cattle came in contact with tick-infested 
southern cattle, they obtained some ticks and contracted the dis- 

— When ticks were removed from southern cattle and placed in 
pastures containing susceptible cattle, the animals acquired ticks 
and contracted the disease without any contact with southern 

— When all ticks were removed from infected southern cattle, 
the disease didn't spread to other suspectible animals living with 
southern cattle. 


These calves spent summer on 
tick-proof platform five feet in 
air, in Oregon study on carriers 
of anaplasmosis, a major bovine 
disease. Control animals were al- 
lowed to graze around platform. 
Under conditions of the experi- 
ment, ticks, rather than flying 
insects, appeared to be the prin- 
cipal transmitters of the disease. 

— When tick larvae from laboratory-hatched tick eggs fed on 
susceptible cattle, these animals contracted the disease. 

Between 1889 and 1892, the veterinary scientists found the 
cause of cattle tick fever — a parasitic protozoan. In addition, 
they discovered the cause was biologically transmitted by a tick. 

Both events were crucial to understanding and controlling this 
important disease. The first discovery of disease transmission by 
an arthropod had epochal dimensions for veterinary medicine, hu- 
man medicine and general biology. Since then, other investigators 
found that many diseases are transmitted by ticks and insects. 

In 1906, officials began a program for wiping out the tick 
along with cattle tick fever from the United States. At that time, 
98 5 counties in 1 5 States were infested. 

The officially approved method was to quarantine infested areas 
and submerge all cattle in an arsenical dip at two-week intervals 
from March through November. During this time, all ticks 
should have died either from dipping or starvation. 

Many areas rapidly eradicated ticks and removed their quaran- 
tines. But others — because of ignorance, prejudice and pro- 
vincialism — sabotaged the program and delayed objectives. 

However, after 50 years, all obstacles were overcome and cattle 
tick fever was eliminated. Once again, consumers, producers and 
environments benefited. 

The fifth great idea opened up new avenues of research. It was 
the idea of studying digestion through a hole in a cow's stomach. 

Cattle and camels, goats and gnus, sheep and saiga (a sheeplike 
antelope) have rumens. The rumen was an enigmatic fore stom- 
ach until 1921 when two veterinary scientists — Drs. A. F. Schalk 
and R. S. Amadon — cut a window and looked in. 

The investigators, working at the North Dakota Agricultural 


Experiment Station, invented the rumen fistula. Its use spread to 
all States and nations where rumen functions and rumen diseases 
were studied. 

Using goats as experimental animals, the researchers created 
fistular openings in order to easily observe and accurately meas- 
ure digestive movements of the rumen. Through the fistula, an 
artificial opening of any diameter, they were able to remove any 
portion of the contents and to insert scientific instruments. 

They obtained the information, the original records on ruminal 
contractions, and recognized that many other types of informa- 
tion about stomachs could be obtained through the use of fistulas. 

Following development of the ruminal fistula, numerous sci- 
entists used it in studies of rumen digestion, syntheses and diseases. 
Vast amounts of information were obtained, and these under- 
standings were used to improve the health and efficiencies of 
ruminants to produce foods of animal origin for human con- 

Investigations determined, for example, that the rumen, 
producing no digestive enzymes itself, contained 2 to 20 bil- 
lion bacteria per gram of contents. These organisms did produce 
enzymes that digested carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Plants 
commonly used as feed for ruminants contained sugars, starches 
and celluloses. 

The ruminal bacteria converted them to organic acids which, 
when absorbed, were metabolized as a source of energy. Although 
sugars and starches could be digested by people, celluloses could 

In a similar way, many ruminal bacteria absorbed dietary am- 
monia which they used as a source of nitrogen in synthesizing pro- 
tein for their own protoplasm. Many such bacteria passed into 
the small intestine where on their death they released these pro- 
teins for digestion, absorption and tissue building by the animal. 

The simplicity of the fistula made it possible to use it among 
all members of entire groups of experimental ruminants. To 
avoid unnecessary loss of contents and heat, the workers closed 
the fistula with a removable plug. 

The presence of the simple fistula or the passing of instru- 
ments through the opening caused no discomfort, inconvenience 
or adversity to the affected animal. 

Using fistulated animals, scientists discovered how cattle and 
camels, goats and gnus, sheep and saiga were able to graze 
grasses, that great resource of the temperate zones, and convert 
these grasses to meat and milk. 


Antibiotics Curb Diseases 
in Livestock, Boost Growth 

By Robert H. White-Stevens 

Two ears of corn, two bushels of potatoes, two pigs, two calves, 
two chickens, two turkeys now grow where but one grew 
before. This has been achieved through the concerned work 
of many people in all walks of science and farming. 

Among the several scientific discoveries which substantially 
contributed to the abundant yields of our meat, egg and milk 
production was the astonishing discovery in the early 1950's of 
the "antibiotic growth effect" on livestock. It was at first un- 
expected, illogical, and baffling, but enormously exciting for it 
opened new vistas of research in animal science. 

"Great scientific discoveries result from the exposure of a 
natural phenomenon to an enquiring mind," said Louis Pasteur, 
and so it was with the whole field of antibiotics commencing with 
the discovery of penicillin, the now familiar wonder drug. 

Thousands of bacteriologists often had seen the blue mold 
Penicillium, contaminating their isolation plates and rendering 
them tainted and useless. They, too, had seen the blank (inhibi- 
tion) areas around the growing molds where the bacteria failed 
to grow. 

Yet it took the genius of an Alexander Fleming to recognize, in 
1928, that the mold must be producing a substance which pre- 
vented the bacterium from growing — in fact, an "antibiotic". 

It took a decade, however, before this laboratory curiosity 
found practical application in disease control and another five 
years before it could be produced in sufficient quantity to be 
available to all at low cost. In time, incidentally, to save thousands 
of lives in World War II. 

Robert H. White-Stevens is Chairman, Bureau of Conservation and Environmental 
Science, Cook College, Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, New 


The antibiotic era was born with Fleming's discovery, and the 
search began for other natural compounds with antigerm activity 
that also were safe at effective doses for use on man and the 
higher animals — livestock and pets. 

In 1944 the soil microbiologist Selman Waksman and his as- 
sociates, at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, 
isolated Streptomycin from a soil organism, Streptomyces griseus. 
This antibiotic was found to be active against a wide array of bac- 
terial diseases of both humans and livestock. The most significant 
is the tuberculosis organism — a world-wide plague which has 
scourged mankind and man's domestic animals for centuries. 

Later Waksman and his co-workers, in 1949, isolated a group 
of three antibiotics, again from a related soil mold — Streptomyces 
fradiae, which he named the Neomycins. These also revealed 
activity against certain skin diseases of humans and livestock. 

Benjamin Duggar, in 1948, after 40 years of research and 
teaching at the experiment stations in Missouri and Wisconsin, 
discovered with his co-workers at the Lederle Laboratories of the 
American Cyanamid Company the first of what became a series 
of extraordinarily effective antibiotics for both human and veter- 
inary medicine — chlortetracycline (Aureomycin®) — from the 
soil mold Streptomyces aureofaciens, a yellow pigmented fungus. 

Interestingly, the sample of soil from which Duggar isolated 
this particular mold came from the Missouri Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station. 

The next discovery was oxy tetracycline ( Terr amy tin®) , found 
by Finlay and associates at Pfizer Inc. Next came tetracycline 
{Achromycin®) , developed first by Boothe and co-workers at 
Lederle Labs in 1953 by chemical modification of chlortetracy- 
cline, and later in 1959 by isolation from another soil mold by 
Heinesmann and associates at Bristol Labs. Inc. Finally, dem- 
ethylchortetracycline (Declomycin®) was prepared by Mc- 
Cormick and co-workers at the Lederle Labs in 1957, again 
chemically from chlortetracycline. 

Of these four tetracycline antibiotics, chloretetracycline and 
oxytetracycline have become most generally used in veterinary 
medicine and farm livestock, although tetracycline also is gain- 
ing increased usage. They all possess a broad scope of activity 
against many important diseases which induce skin, intestinal or 
general systemic infections. 

Because of their stability in formulations, their breadth of 
spectrum, their activity throughout the body systems of animals, 


Selman Waksman observing growth cul- 
ture of actinomycetes, a major soil organ- 
ism first identified by him in New Jersey 
in the early 1940's. 

and their extraordinarily wide margin of safety, these tetra- 
cycline antibiotics quickly gained favor among the veterinarians 
and became the treatment of choice for a wide range of acute 
and chronic disease problems in livestock production. 

In the ensuing years a number of other antibiotics have been 
discovered and developed for specific and various applications 
in agriculture. 

High Quality Meats 

During the 1940's a sharp rise in the general income of Ameri- 
cans created an increased demand for high quality meats in our 

Intensive research at many experiment stations had revealed 
the nutrient components essential for animal diets and how these 
could be combined and fed to achieve rapid growth and efficient 
production. Essential vitamins, minerals and certain amino acids 
(the building blocks of all proteins) were identified as to the 
kinds, the right quantities, and the best combination needed for 
the various stages of growth and product formation, as in milk, 
eggs, and meat. This was worked out for chickens, turkeys, pigs, 
sheep, beef and dairy cattle. 

There was, however, one exception — an unknown growth and 
reproduction factor found in animal protein, but not in plant 
protein. This factor was required by all single stomach animals, 
such as the rat, dog, chicken, turkey, and pig but not the multi- 
stomach animals or ruminants, such as sheep and cattle. Ap- 
parently, then, ruminants were capable of producing their own 
"animal protein factor" (APF) . It also had been shown in New 
Zealand and Australia that multi-stomach animals did, however, 


require vegetation grown on soils containing the metal cobalt. 
All single stomach livestock had, therefore, to be fed a source 
of APF or they would rapidly become anemic and their reproduc- 
tion would fail. Such animal protein sources were supplied from 
meat scrap, fish meal, and byproducts of the dairy industry. As 
consumer demand for meat rose, the need for these animal pro- 
tein byproducts soared. 

Through the 1940's an intensive search was pressed for alter- 
nate, cheaper sources of APF. It was found to be present in animal 
manures, even in processed municipal sludge. This implied APF 
was actually not an animal protein factor but was produced by 
various "bugs" living in the intestinal tract. 

Then Mary Shorb of the Maryland Station found a bacterium 
(Lactobacillus lac t is) which also required APF to grow, and thus 
provided a rapid laboratory screening and assay tool to look for 
possible APF sources. The search quickly accelerated into a race. 

Coincident with this research but quite independently, medical 
researchers for years had been seeking a dietary control for perni- 
cious anemia, an often fatal disease in humans in which the body 
is incapable of making sufficient blood. The search had been nar- 
rowed down to unknown components present in animal livers 
(for example, beef and pork livers) , and injectable liver extracts 
from these sources had been prepared to aid in controlling this 
fatal disease. 

In 1948 all the various lines of investigation suddenly coa- 
lesced, when a dark red crystalline substance was isolated from 
animal livers and found to contain the metal cobalt. The com- 
pound was named "cyanocobalamine" or vitamin B 12 , and was 
quickly identified as both the anti-pernicious-anemia factor for 
humans and the animal protein factor (APF) for single stomach 

Now it was clear why ruminants did not require APF in their 
diets: the numerous "bugs" in their rumens could make it pro- 
vided that cobalt was present in their forage. 

This Vitamin B12, an extraordinary compound, is active bi- 
ologically at a few parts per billion in animals and man. 

With the discovery of vitamin B12, it became feasible to raise 
swine and poultry exclusively on plant protein diets — corn and 
soya plus minerals and vitamins. The search then began for cheap 
available sources of vitamin B12 for the feed trade. As it had been 
found to be fermented by various "bugs" (microflora) , could the 


fermentation residues from the production of antibiotics from 
molds be a source? 

56 Percent Better Growth 

Jukes and co-workers at Lederle Laboratories assayed the res- 
idues of chlortetracycline (Aureomycin®) fermentation. Vita- 
min B12 was indeed found to be present in the discarded cake. 
When a liver extract (vitamin B^) supplement was fed to chicks 
on a vegetable diet, they grew 19 per cent more in 25 days than 
the controls. While on the antibiotic residue containing vitamin 
B12, they grew 56 per cent better than the controls, giving an 
added growth of 37 per cent more on the fermented residue than 
from vitamin Bi2 alone. 

The experiment was repeated, and again an increase of 36 per 
cent over that directly attributable to vitamin Bi 2 alone was ob- 

From what did this increased growth arise? Although the 
fermentation had been extracted for the antibiotic, it was found 
that about two grams of the chlortetracycline still remained in 
each pound of dried fermentation residue. 

A few quick experiments on purified diets soon established 
beyond dispute that the antibiotic was indeed the factor which 
had induced the extraordinary increased growth. 

Field trials immediately were initiated on chickens, turkeys, 
pigs, calves and sheep at experiment stations all over the United 
States, Canada and later in several European countries. The 
gathered results were even more spectacular than those first 
observed in the relatively hygienic laboratory animal rooms. 

It seemed that the more exposed the test animals were to stress, 
adverse climate, and disease the greater became the improvement 
in growth, livability and feed conversion induced by the anti- 
biotic in their diet. 

Experiment station researchers began to test other antibiotics 
besides chlortetracycline — such as oxytetracycline, penicillin, 
streptomycin and bacitracin, and later erythromycin and tylosin 
— at low levels (2 to 10 grams per ton) in the rations of livestock, 
particularly of young rapidly growing animals. 

Some differences were observed in the gains over controls for 
the various species of animals tested, and under the wide range of 
conditions tested. But in general a significant promotion in 
growth and feed conversion was reported. 


Within two years of the initial laboratory discovery, a large 
number of livestock in the United States and Canada were be- 
ing fed antibiotic supplements at least during the early stages 
of growth. Unexplained questions that remained however were: 
What precisely is the role of antibiotics in growth promotion of 
young animals? And what makes it work? 

Even today, after 25 years, scientists cannot completely an- 
swer these questions. 

For many years nutritionists and physiologists believed that in- 
testinal "bugs" of divers species were essential for adequate diet 
digestion among all animals, including humans. Although it had 
long been established that such a joint relationship is essential for 
multi-stomach animals such as cattle, sheep and goats, doubts re- 
mained as to whether single-stomach animals (pigs, dogs, cats, 
rats, birds, etc.) and humans really did require such an intestinal 
population of helpful little creatures for their growth, main- 
tenance and reproduction. 

Early experiments designed to prove that certain intestinal 
organisms were in fact essential — by feeding known bacterial 
killers, such as sulfa drugs, to rats — produced uncertain results. 
For in some instances, the treated animals grew more rapidly and 
appeared healthier than the untreated controls. 

In any case the concept of feeding livestock a suppressor of its 
intestinal "bugs", except in cases of known identifiable disease, 
was not encouraged for general farm livestock. It was in fact 
seriously frowned upon by some veterinarians. 

Debate Rages 

The sudden popularity of the practice of feeding antibiotics 
understandably initiated intensive debate among animal sci- 
entists. This was particularly the case at the time as there was 
really no reasonable, logical rationale to do so, other than the 
very practical justification that it worked, it promoted growth, 
it improved appearance, it reduced early mortality and morbidity 
(disease) , and it returned to the grower a substantial savings. 

That economic advantage quickly found its way into con- 
sumer markets as prices declined and quality improved. Con- 
sequently demand rose sharply, particularly for broilers, frying 
chickens, and turkeys. 

But the question of mechanisms of action remained unan- 
swered. Then workers both in England and the United States 
independently made an astonishingly but really quite reasonable 


discovery. Rats, mice and chicks (and later, also, pigs), when 
grown under absolute sterile conditions, did not show the growth 
effect when fed such antibiotic supplements. The obvious im- 
plication was that this occurred due to the suppression of in- 
jurious or at least deleterious intestinal organisms. 

Actually, earlier experiments had shown that germ-free ani- 
mals grew as much as 50 per cent more rapidly than "controls" 
held in conventional quarters where normal "bug" populations 
were invariably present. 

The mechanism of the antibiotic growth effect was then, at 
least in part, due to reduction of undesirable organisms. This also 
explains the abundant evidence from many stations which showed 
that thanks to low level diet supplementation with antibiotics, 
the animal could get more mileage out of its ration. 

Many field trails revealed that among young rapidly growing, 
highly susceptible animals, antibiotics significantly reduced such 
diseases as scours in young calves, dysentery in baby pigs, toxic 
enteritis in lambs, and "mushy chick" disease in newly hatched 

It was observed, however, that the beneficial effects of low 
level (2 to 10 grams per ton) feeding of antibiotics tended to 
wane as the animal grew, though often the initial advantage could 
still be noted at market. 

At first it was concluded that the harmful bugs had become 
resistant, and therefore the efficacy of the antibiotic was dis- 
sipated. This was, in fact, to be expected. However, it was not 
the case. For new young animals set out in uncleaned quarters, 
previously occupied, and fed the low levels of antibiotics 
promptly revealed the customary growth effect. 

It was finally recognized that all young animals consume much 
larger feed intakes per unit of body weight than do older animals. 
Thus if the antibiotic were to be increased in the diet so that the 
antibiotic intake per unit of body weight remained virtually con- 
stant, as the animal grew, then its effect would continue to be 
exerted until the animal went to market. 

Laboratory and field trials again were set up at experiment sta- 
tions in various states, in Canada and in England, and levels of 
antibiotics were fed from 10 to 400 grams per ton at both con- 
tinuous constant levels and at rates that increased as the test ani- 
mals grew. 

Those antibiotics which are readily absorbed from the intestines 
(for example, the tetracyclines) yielded spectacular results. Not 


Researchers have found that lambs can be removed from their mothers soon 
after birth and successfully reared on liquid milk replacer diets that include 

only were the acute diseases prevented, but also those low grade 
infections usually present in massed flocks and herds which pre- 
viously had been an expected sequel to the various unavoidable 
stress to which all livestock is exposed (vaccinations, dehorning, 
debeaking, sudden heat or cold spells, wet litter, transportation, 


Thus outbreaks of such "stress" diseases as shipping fever, foot 


rot, chronic respiratory disease and various forms of enteritis were 
effectively quelled. 

With these developments, substantial changes in management 
procedures evolved. 

Before the general use of antibiotics in feeds and drinking wa- 
ter, animal groups had been kept small. This was because it had 
long been recognized that large groups of massed livestock in- 
evitably encourage outbreaks of serious disease which generate 
excessive mortality and costly sickness among the survivors. Lost 
feed conversion and increased days to market could readily be- 
come ruinous. 

Broiler Flocks of 40,000 

With the introduction of antibiotic feed supplements fed to 
prevent the outbreak of such diseases, more animals could be 
housed safely together and more groups could be held simultan- 
eously on the same farm or feed lot. Flocks of broilers were 
promptly increased, from 3,000 to 5,000 to upwards of 20,000 
to 40,000 within the same house. Cattle on feed lots were in- 
creased from a few hundred to tens of thousands. 

The economics in labor, overhead, and "turn around" time sub- 
stantially reduced the cost of production, which quickly became 
reflected in reduced prices to the consumer. 

To manage such immense groups of livestock, continuous 
disease prevention rather than treatment became mandatory. 
Antibiotics, along with vaccination procedures to immunize live- 
stock against virulent virus diseases, rendered such mass produc- 
tion of livestock practicable and economically sound. This also 
was the case with other feed medicaments such as coccidiostats to 
prevent coccidiosis in poultry, and anthelmintics to prevent 
worm and parasite infestations. 

To attempt to treat diseased chickens individually from a flock 
of 2 5,000 was obviously quite impracticable. At times it be- 
comes necessary to provide a treatment to control a sudden out- 
break of disease, and this generally is attempted by applying the 
treatment either in the feed or water, or, occasionally, through 
the air with aerosolized medicine. 

However, among such massed animals those which need treat- 
ment the most get the least. Those which need it the least get the 
most, due to the inevitable inability of sick animals to stand up to 
the competition at the feeders and waterers. 

With larger animals such as pigs, sheep and cattle, it is possible 


to isolate the sick animals. However, this requires special facilities, 
considerable labor and professional help. In any case, the disease 
probably has started already in the apparently healthy animals, 
which in turn also will require individual treatment. 

The grower is fortunate under such dire circumstances if he 
can retrieve his investment, without profit. 

In addition, meat inspection regulations at the dressing and 
packing plants have become increasingly stringent in recent years. 
This is largely because the introduction of preventative antibiotic 
and other medicament feeding of livestock has shown how clean 
animals can be raised virtually free of disease. 

These increased standards, directed primarily at maintaining 
public health, make it impossible for the producer of livestock 
intended for marketable meat to remain in business unless he 
can proceed under a production program first of massed flocks 
or herds, and second of almost total disease prevention. 

If either of these procedures are withdrawn, the predictable 
result will be a substantial decline in overall meat production 
efficiency and a sharp and ruinous rise in meat prices to the con- 

The mechanism of the antibiotic growth effect is, then, the 
suppression of deleterious micro-organisms. Some of these exert 
only competition for nutrients. Others coincidentally produce 
poisons that impair growth efficiency. Still others elicit low grade 
or chronic disease that can under certain unfavorable conditions 
burst into fierce disease. And, finally, a fourth group can readily 
invade massed animal groups and induce serious mortality. 

In a sense all animals and, presumably, living things all suffer 
from infective disease all the time. Those animals fed antibiotics 
continuously in their diet merely sustain a much lower level of 
disease from a reduced array of organisms. They therefore re- 
spond better in terms of overall growth efficiency. 

Resistance Question Raised 

Since the use of antibiotics in farm livestock feeding began, the 
question has been raised repeatedly as to possible development of 
bacterial resistance to the particular antibiotics used. This was 
fully anticipated. Monitoring studies were initiated at several 
stations to determine whether it was actually occurring and, if so, 
whether it would indicate the ultimate decline of the antibiotic 

By the middle of the 1950's such a decline was observed at 


some stations where antibiotic feeding studies had been underway 
for several years. The curious fact developed, however, that the 
reduction in the observed antibiotic growth effect was not due 
to slower growth of the treated animals but to a rise in the growth 
rate of the untreated controls. 

Apparently the continuous use of antibiotic-supplemented 
feeds in the surroundings had reduced the overall level of un- 
favorable germs to the point that even the untreated animals 
showed improved growth. However, when all antibiotics were re- 
moved from these particular environments, in a relatively 
short time the overall growth efficiency declined and the antibiotic 
growth effect could be demonstrated once again. 

A survey of the use of antibiotics in livestock feeding reveals 
that the effect of growth efficiency has been sustained in all areas 
studied for over 20 years. 

The feeding of antibiotics to livestock, at least at registered 
levels, does not sterilize the intestines or the bodies of the recipient 
animals. Therefore a considerable number of bugs of many species 
survive. These obviously are inherently "resistant" to the anti- 
biotic used at the dose level fed. 

Yet they do not constitute a threat or hazard either to the 
particular animal species, to other species within the same en- 
vironment, to humans who attend them, to those who slaughter, 
dress or process the meat, or to the consumer of the edible product. 

It must be obvious that if the efficacy of antibiotic feeding to 
livestock had really subsided to the point where it had become 
ineffective due to resistant organisms, the industry — pressed, as 
it is with mounting costs — would swiftly abandon the practice. 

In 1960 a new discovery, made first in Japan and later con- 
firmed in Europe and the United States, created a fresh concept 
and concern over the use of antibiotics in the feed of farm ani- 

It had been noted that certain strains of a disease organism 
causing dysentery in man (Shigella) had developed considerable 
resistance to virtually all drugs previously employed for its treat- 
ment, including several antibiotics. This resistance could not be 
accounted for by the normal course of selection and evolution. 

The discovery was made that certain strains of common in- 
testinal bacteria, which themselves usually are not serious disease 
inducers, can "infect" their multiple drug resistance characteris- 
tics into drug-susceptible organisms that induce intestinal dis- 


ease, simultaneously rendering them also resistant to the several 

These "infective" drug-resistant bacteria apparently possess a 
Resistant Transfer Factor (RTF) which enables them to transfer 
their multiple drug resistance even to essentially unrelated species. 
That astonishing property instantly excited the interest of many 
scientists, including of course physicians, veterinarians, nutri- 
tionists, and livestock researchers. 

Review by the British 

In England it generated considerable excitement, and a Com- 
mittee was authorized by Parliament — the Swann Committee — 
to review the entire subject with special reference to the feeding 
of antibiotics to livestock. 

It was thought that if such a transfer of multiple drug resist- 
ance should occur among livestock, with otherwise drug-sensitive 
strains of disease organisms which also could infect humans, then 
there was the possibility that a serious epidemic of disease could 
develop among the public that might not be controlled with any 
available drug or antibiotic. This was admittedly a horrifying 
prospect, if it were reasonably likely to occur. 

That such a nightmare is unlikely is attested to by the fact 
that over the past 24 years in the United States and Canada 
literally tens of billions of head of livestock were fed a wide array 
of antibiotic and other drugs over a broad range of doses — with- 
out a single medically annotated incident of such a multiple- 
drug-resistant disease moving from any kind of livestock into the 
human population and creating an uncontrollable epidemic. 

The incident which triggered the concern in England did not 
in fact concern the everyday feeding of antibiotics to livestock. 
For the alleged original source of the resistant disease {Salmonella 
typhimurium) came from a group of clearly mishandled new 
born calves not fed colostrum before shipping. The calves had 
received a "shotgun" injection of several drugs. 

The disease became rampant among the calves, killing half of 
them, and allegedly reaching a children's hospital, where six infant 
fatalities occurred before the outbreak was brought under con- 

Actually, of course, the drug of choice for treatment of this 
particular infection in humans (Salmonella) is not one of the 
tetracycline antibiotics. They are largely ineffective against this 
organism at normal feeding levels, and therefore would not have 


exerted any significant selective effect. The best antibiotic to have 
employed would have been chloramphenicol, which is not fed to 
farm livestock. 

Succeeding laboratory investigations did, however, reveal that 
the particular strain of the intestinal organism involved (E. colt 
phage type 29) did possess the inherent resistance transfer factor 
(RTF) and was indeed resistant to several commonly fed anti- 
biotics. In lab cultures it could readily transfer to the otherwise 
antibiotic-sensitive organism (Salmonella) , rendering it also drug 

The interpretation then was made that such resistant organ- 
isms in humans are derived from antibiotic-fed livestock. And the 
final recommendations of the Swann Report were that all such 
antibiotic feeding of livestock should be suspended in the United 
Kingdom except under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. 
After public and Parliamentary debate which extended for nearly 
two years, the ordinance was implemented. 

Although the use of antibiotics in animal feeds in the United 
Kingdom is now more closely controlled than previously, they 
continue to be fed under professional supervision, and no further 
serious human disease problems have been reported. 

In the United States the feeding of antibiotics is presently 
under review. But as no hazards to public health have been 
demonstrated, the practice is not as yet restricted, beyond the 
specifications of use required in the Federal registration of every 
antibiotic and drug. 

In the meantime further research has uncovered several in- 
teresting and reassuring facts: 

• Transfer of drug resistance between differing species of bac- 
teria occurs much more readily and frequently under artificial 
laboratory culture conditions than it does in the intestines of liv- 
ing animals. Whether the rapid transfer observed in the laboratory 
is largely an artificial effect, or whether the competition within 
the living intestines tends to prevent the transfer, is not yet clearly 
defined. However, it has been shown to occur in the living intes- 
tines, although rather infrequently 

• It has also been shown that cultures of bacteria into which 
resistance has become transferred can quite readily lose it again. 
Perhaps this also occurs even more rapidly within the living intes- 
tine. Certainly the evidence reveals that cultures with transferred 
resistance grow less vigorously after the transfer than they did 


before. This would render them less capable of survival as they 
become "overgrown" 

• Cultures into which drug resistance has been transferred are 
often, though not invariably, less capable of inducing disease in 
the host than were the previous drug-susceptible cultures. They 
often differ in visible shape and appearance and generally show 
a considerably reduced rate of growth 

The potential evolution of pests of any kind that are resistant 
to control procedures— whether bacteria, fungi, internal parasites 
or insects — is of course a constant concern to all producers of 
crops and livestock. On balance, however, the threat falls far 
short of the very certain losses that invariably occur when no con- 
trols at all are employed against such pests. The only question 
of merit is the one of the risk : benefit ratio to man. 

In the use of antibiotics in agriculture, primarily for livestock 
production, the risk :. benefit ratio weighs so heavily in favor of 
benefit that there should really be little dispute. 

It has been estimated that withdrawal of the use of antibiotics 
from livestock production would promptly raise the cost of meat 
and animal products by at least $ 1 billion a year at the consumer 

Such an inordinate and really quite unnecessary increase in food 
costs would incite considerable public reaction both in the United 
States and in many foreign countries. 

On the other hand, the proposed risks from the continued use 
of antibiotics in agriculture are in fact essentially unsupported by 
experimental evidence, public health considerations, or practical 
field experience extending, by now, for over 20 years. 


Natural Enemies Used 
to Fight Insect Ravages 

By Paul Gough 

For centuries farmers have depended on nature and luck to 
protect their crops from insect attack. Often crops were 
lost or extensively damaged, but parasites, predators, disease 
or starvation usually brought such insect pests under eventual 

In Utah in the 18T0s, a three-year-long plague of Mormon 
crickets was brought to an end by sea gulls — which saved the 
crops of the early settlers from almost certain destruction. 

A more recent demonstration of natural control occurred in 
Connecticut during the early 1970s. For several years elm span- 
worms defoliated thousands of acres of trees in forests and back- 
yards until nature again came to the rescue. 

Frustrated residents had turned to insecticides to help them re- 
cover their yards from the caterpillars and controversy raged 
over public spraying programs. At the height of the infestation, 
entomologists from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment 
Station discovered tiny wasp parasites quietly destroying span- 
worm eggs in the southwestern part of the state. 

The wasps, which do not sting people, lay their eggs inside the 
eggs of spanworms. This provides the parasites with nourishment 
but is fatal to the developing caterpillars. In some areas the 
entomologists found the wasps had destroyed all of the eggs. 
Based on this information, they were able to predict that an end 
to the infestation was near. 

Within two years spanworms were almost completely absent 
in every section of the state where they had previously been 
present in large numbers. 

This Connecticut experience shows that natural enemies can 
destroy large numbers of pest insects in a relatively short period 
of time. But such relief often comes too late to suit people 

Paul Gough is Editor at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven. 


bothered by pests such as the spanworms or to suit farmers whose 
crops are threatened. Under these circumstances other methods 
of insect control are sought. 

A new era of pest control began during World War II when 
DDT was first used to control disease -carrying insects. This 
chemical was effective against a large number of pest species, was 
easy to use, was inexpensive, and was quite dependable. But sci- 
entists quickly recognized that insects were able to build resist- 
ance to DDT and other chemical insecticides. 

Chemical insecticides also must be applied repeatedly to con- 
tinue to keep pests under control, and they often have killed 
beneficial insects such as bees or natural enemies of the pests. 
Because of these and other problems with insecticides, the trend 
in pest control is now toward development of controls that closely 
parallel the actions of nature. 

Biological control by imported parasites was used by the Cali- 
fornia Agricultural Experiment Station to bring under control 
the olive scale, a pest of olives, plums, apricots, other smooth- 
skinned fruits and of 200 different hosts including ornamental 

Since the scale was native to Asia and the Middle East, the 
logical place to look for natural enemies was in these areas. This 
importation technique was successfully demonstrated in Cali- 
fornia in the late 1880's when the U. S. Department of Agricul- 
ture (USDA) imported vedalia beetles from Australia to Control 
the cottony-cushion scale which threatened the state's citrus crop. 

Imported Wasp Weighs In 

The California scientists sent overseas to search for natural 
enemies found that the olive scale was only a minor problem in 
most areas. This contrasted with its serious pest status in Cali- 
fornia where no natural enemies were established. 

A parasitic wasp, Aphytis maculicornis, collected in Iran, was 
brought to California as a result of this effort. The parasite ap- 
peared to have great promise as a biological control because 
it had six generations per year while the olive scale had only two 

Since both insects laid about the same number of eggs, the 
parasite could easily overcome the reproductive capacity of the 
olive scale under the proper circumstances. Millions of the wasps 
were released, and good control was achieved in some areas. 

But in the Central Valley where summers were hot and dry, 


A team of scientists from Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts discovered an 
early warning system in aphids based on a chemical repellant (alarm phero- 
mone). When an aphid is attacked by an insect predator as in this photo, it 
secretes a tiny droplet containing the pheromone. When the droplet evaporates 
it warns other aphids of impending danger. Ohio researchers are studying the 
possibility of treating plants with synthesized alarm pheromones to deter aphid 

Aphytis was not fully effective. Because of the variable results, 
many growers did not adopt the parasite as a biological control. 

Several years later, while California scientists were looking for 
natural enemies of another insect, they found two more parasites 
of the olive scale in Pakistan. One of these was found to be well 
established four years after it was introduced in California. 

Although Aphytis working alone could not control the olive 
scale sufficiently to be an acceptable means of reducing fruit 
damage, its activity was supplemented by that of the newcomer 
and together they produced effective biological control. 

Parasites do not always have to be collected from overseas. 
Some agricultural pests originate in other areas of the country 
and become established because they manage to overcome natural 
geographical barriers or are carried into new places by the activi- 
ties of man. 

Skeletonizer Scratched 

To find parasites of the grape leaf skeletonizer, California sci- 
entists only had to go to Arizona. Quite by accident a virus 
disease was brought into the state along with some parasite mate- 


rial, and this turned out to be the necessary element for biological 

Although the parasites helped, the virus received the credit for 
controlling the grape leaf skeletonizer. The parasites spread the 
virus in the grape-growing areas of the state, bringing the pest 
under control within three years in most places. 

Insect diseases thus offer another area of biological control that 
can be explored. Pioneering work in microbial control was done 
by Edward Steinhaus at the California Agricultural Experiment 

Steinhaus was the first American scientist to use a virus against 
an insect pest. This was in 1948 when he successfully controlled 
the alfalfa caterpillar with a polyhedrosis virus. And a few years 
later he reported successful control of this same insect with 
Bacillus thuringienm, a bacterial agent grown on nutrient agar. 

Bt is now registered for numerous caterpillar pests including 
those that affect such diverse plants as lettuce and shade trees. Bt 
does not harm most beneficial insects so it is compatible with most 
biological control efforts. 

The specificity of most insect pathogens makes them desirable 
from a biological control point of view. 

Breeding of insect-resistant plants has produced some out- 
standing results and shows great promise for the future. 

Greenhouse studies of Hessian fly resistance in wheat were be- 
gun at the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station in 1914, and 
yielded a resistant variety that was released in 1931. These and 
other studies have produced at least 25 other varieties of wheat 
resistant to the Hessian fly. 

The efforts to produce Hessian fly resistant wheat have been 
so successful that some State Experiment Stations will no longer 
release a new variety of wheat unless it is resistant to the fly. 

A variety resistant to the wheat stem sawfly was developed in 
Canada during World War II, and the Montana and Arizona 
Agricultural Experiment Stations worked together to produce 
large quantities of seed for planting in Montana. 

Only one bushel of wheat was available, but the combined 
efforts of the two states turned this single bushel into 60,000 
bushels. That feat was accomplished by planting the available 
seed in Arizona in the fall and in Montana in the spring over a 
period of several years. 

This variety, appropriately called Rescue, reduced sawfly 
damage to less than 10 percent compared to as much as 90 per- 


USDA and California scientists cooperated in developing a muskmelon re- 
sistant to insects and diseases. Above, cages containing aphids are placed on 
melon leaves in test for insect resistance. Inset, resistant hybrid melon bred 
from India and U.S. commercial melons. 

cent in non-resistant varieties. Rescue, however, was not resistant 
to rust, so another variety had to be developed for eastern Mon- 
tana and North Dakota where rust and the sawfly were serious 

Fortuna, the first rust and sawfly resistant wheat, was released 
to farmers in 1966 as a result of research conducted by USDA 
and the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. 

250,000 Plants Screened 

Development of insect-resistant plant varieties is no easy task 
for plant breeders. For example, during the effort to develop an 


alfalfa variety that would resist the spotted alfalfa aphid, the 
Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station screened 250,000 plants 
of the same variety. 

Only about one percent of the plants survived when they were 
exposed to aphids. After these plants grew to a height of at least 
six inches, they were again exposed to aphids. 

Following this, only 101 plants remained for the further 
laboratory and field tests which were required to produce the 
alfalfa-resistant variety that was ultimately released to farmers 
in Kansas. 

Despite the great effort involved in screening of plants to select 
only those that seem to be the most promising, resistant crops 
offer an attractive means of control because farmers can reduce 
insect damage to their crops merely by purchasing the proper 
resistant seed. 

Although resistant crops provide insect control, the gain may 
only be temporary. Just as the plants can be manipulated to 
produce insect resistance, the insects can adapt to the new 
varieties and in time may again become a pest. 

The results of the past, although encouraging, seem to indicate 
that biological controls will not be developed for all significant 
pests of agricultural crops. Instead, a combination of techniques 
will be required. 

Farmers may use insect-resistant crops even if they do not 
present total protection, and supplement this control with 
pesticides, parasites, predators, and diseases as necessary. 

The advantage of biological methods of insect control is that 
they usually leave other natural controls intact. This allows the 
pest to be reduced in numbers without destroying the forces that 
normally help keep it under some control. 

Biological methods are often less expensive than chemical con- 
trols. They generally are effective over a longer period of time, 
and are non-toxic to man and most other organisms. This allows 
maximum pest control with a minimum amount of effort, ex- 
pense, and environmental disruption. 

Since effective insect control must be achieved to continue 
the steady flow of food to the nation's tables at a reasonable cost 
to both farmers and consumers, experiment station researchers in 
many areas of the country continue to look for ways to exploit 
nature to protect plants and people. 


The Fire Brigade Stops 
A Raging Corn Epidemic 

By James G. Horsfall 

Columbus sailed west seeking spices to flavor and preserve his 
unrefrigerated food. He found no spices, but he discovered 
corn, an incredible crop that fed his country well and 
required no refrigeration. 

It was a staple of the New World then, and now is a world- 
wide staple. It is the third most important food producer in the 
world, following closely after wheat and rice. We feed it to ani- 
mals and get back steaks, hams, and hamburgers. We drink bour- 
bon made from the grain and smoke pipes made from the cobs. 
We eat it directly as corn bread, corn flakes, corn pone, johnny- 
cake, hush puppies, grits, and hominy. 

No wonder the nation Was worried in 1970 when an epidemic 
swept like fire through the corn of the country and into the 
pages of the popular press. Had that fire gotten out of hand, it 
could have burned big holes in the complex web of the nation's 
food system. 

The disease killed off 15 percent of the Nation's corn that 
year, 100 percent in some fields. Fifteen percent standing alone 
is a dry statistic, but it amounted to 1.02 billion bushels of corn. 
Had it been fed to cattle it would have produced 7.7 billion steaks 
at one pound each, or over 30 billion quarter-pound hamburgers. 
This is easily three times the total sales of a major hamburger 
chain whose sales statistics are prominently displayed. 

The epidemic first appeared near Miami in January, 1970. It 
swept rapidly northward with the greening wave of corn all the 
way to Minnesota and Maine where it faded out in early fall. 

It produced lesions on the leaves until they died and shriveled. 
It then attacked the ears, punching its way through the husks 
to the grain. Come fall, the mechanical corn pickers were 

James G. Horsfall is Samuel W. Johnson Distinguished Scientist, The Connecticut 
Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven. 


enveloped in a black miasmic cloud of spores of Helminthospor- 
ium maydis. No disease ever before had been so destructive to 

To set the perspective let us examine a few other classic epi- 
demics of history. 

The Great Irish Famine 

Two of the worst famines of all time were due to epidemics 
of plant disease. The most famous in the western world was the 
great Irish famine, during the 1840's. The dreaded late blight 
disease destroyed potato crops of the Irish for several years run- 

Since there were no firefighters then, this fire burned for 
several years. Some 1 . 5 million people died. 

Next came the equally devastating Bengal famine of 1943 in 
the eastern hemisphere, a century later. The Bengal rice crop 
had been destroyed by a fungus the previous year. According 
to a recent analysis of that frightful event, two million people 
died and the streets and highways were littered with their bodies. 

Effects of both of these famines were greatly intensified as a 
result of overpopulation, political troubles, and poor transporta- 

We in the United States could give up corn worth 30 billion 
hamburgers in 1970 without creating a famine because we could 
substitute wheat or other crops, and we have a highly sophisticated 
transport system and no severe overpopulation. 

Oldsters among us will remember the wheatless days in our 
country in 1917. This followed a severe epidemic of wheat rust 
disease in 1916 that consumed two million bushels of wheat in 
the United States and a million in Canada. Nobody starved, since 
we substituted corn bread for wheat bread. 

The world has seen other destructive epidemics. Pests almost 
wiped out the French wine industry three times in the nineteenth 
century. Coffee rust broke the Oriental Bank of Ceylon in the 
1880's and recently has invaded Brazil, where the impact is in 
the hands of the gods. 

Before we turn to the corn blight epidemic, let's look briefly 
at hybrid corn itself because without hybrid corn, I would have 
no firefighter story. (The hybrid corn story itself is dealt with 
much more fully in an earlier chapter of this Yearbook.) 

Corn is an exceedingly plastic organism. The great principle 
at the base of hybrid corn has enabled researchers all over America 


to knead it and mold it into a wide variety of forms: tall corn, 
dwarf corn, sweet corn, silage corn, popcorn, corn for the hot 
tropics, corn for the cool north, for humid climates, corn for dry 

The yield has been raised, raised again, and yet again. It has 
tripled in 30 years. And the end is not in sight. It stands as a 
great tribute to agricultural research in America. Thus it is fit- 
ting to discuss it in a Yearbook marking the centennial of the ex- 
periment stations in America. Hundreds of researchers have con- 
tributed to the corn saga. 

A few iconoclasts in the Nation hold that science and tech- 
nology are problems for the Nation, not solutions to problems. 
To them, science and technology gave us the automobile and 
adolescents are killed. They overlook that science and technology 
also gave us penicillin and adolescents are saved. My daughter was 

Science and technology do sometimes develop side effects. Some 
adolescents are allergic to penicillin. These side effects must be 
dealt with as they arise. In one sense the corn blight epidemic was 
a side effect of science and technology. But it was science and 
technology that came to the rescue and put out the fire. As a 
result the Nation still enjoys the benefit of hybrid corn technology 
without the side effect. 

Questions flew hot and heavy in 1970. "What happened? Where 
did technology go awry? Why didn't we see it coming? 

Let's examine these questions. First, what happened? We will 
deal with this question by examining the anatomy of the epi- 

Anatomy of an Epidetnic 

The fire was no case of arson. No foreign people brought in a 
virulent parasite and turned it loose in our corn. We simply left 
the oily rags in the basement and they caught fire. We now 
know what we should have done. We didn't see it in time. 

It took us about six decades to set the stage for the epidemic. 
In 1907 Shull of the Carnegie Institution invented the pure 
line method of breeding corn. This became the base for hybrid 

Corn being open pollinated was a potpourri of genes. There 
were genes for yellow corn, white corn, red corn, flint corn, 
weaklings, dwarfs, giants — even genes for corn that grew along 
the ground like a vine. 


Shull eliminated the variability by inbreeding, so that he ended 
with pure lines. This had as important an impact on corn breed- 
ing as "chemically pure" compounds had in the chemical in- 

Shull and his scientific sons that followed him produced pure 
lines for varieties, all conditions, and all areas. 

Ten years after Shull, Jones at the Connecticut Station took 
four pure lines to produce his famed four way cross. This is some- 
what facetiously called the "double cross." The first year Jones 
crossed line A with line B and line C with line D. The second 
year he crossed AB and CD. And thus he invented a method for 
making inventions. 

As a result anyone, anywhere, could inbreed his own pure 
lines and cross the best to give him the proper corn for his con- 
ditions. That is how the breeders kneaded corn. 

Jones' double cross method with pure lines was too complex 
for a farmer to use, however. No farmer could keep the lines 
pure and make all the controlled crosses. 

Jones persuaded a local Connecticut farmer to set up a hybrid 
corn business — the very first one. But it took a Henry Wallace in 
Iowa to make it go commercially. And thus came into being the 
hybrid corn companies. 

The Seventh Row 

In practice, the corn companies grow six rows of the AB side 
of the cross and a single row of the CD side. Originally they 
hired thousands of high school students to go down the six rows 
and pull out the tassels and thus destroy the pollen. This left 
the seventh row to produce all the pollen. The pollen from the 
seventh row pollinates the others, and hybrids are produced for 

By 1931 we were 24 years along the road to the epidemic. In 
that year Rhoades discovered a strain of corn with sterile pollen. 
Forward looking breeders thought, "Ah, hah, we could use this 
in the female six rows and avoid all that expensive detasseling." 

Alas and alack, it did not work because Rhoades' pollen sterility 
factor was inherited through the cytoplasm, not through the 
genes. Thus, it was inherited in the female line. If the farmer 
were to plant seed so produced, his crop would also be sterile. He 
would then sell only cobs. Rhoades' strain, not finding a use, 
was lost. The epidemic was delayed. 

In 1945, we were 38 years along. That year Mangelsdorf and 


Three stalwarts in hybrid corn 
technology: left to right, D. F. 
Jones, Henry A. Wallace, and 
Paul Mangelsdorf. 

Rogers in Texas discovered another male sterile line, which 
eventually became known as the Texas male sterile line. Here was 
another chance to get rid of detasseling, but this sterility also 
descended in the female line and, if used, would sterilize the 
farmer's crop. Nevertheless, the strain was saved. 

Things speeded up a little. By 1948 two thirds of the time had 
passed by. Jones, of double cross fame, said to himself in 1948 
that there are genes for everything — there must be a gene that 
would correct the male sterility. He searched his vast collection 
of corn genes and discovered such a one which he dubbed the 
restorer gene. 

Hybrid corn makers got the restorer gene from Jones and the 
Texas male sterile strain from Texas and incorporated both in 
their breeding lines. Success was on the way, but so was the 

Essentially all the corn varieties of the country, and abroad 
as well, were converted to the new process of making hybrid 
corn. The high school students lost their jobs. Hybrid corn now 
was produced on Texas male sterile cytoplasm. And thus nearly 
every corn plant in America came to be an identical twin with 
every other one in the sense that they both contained Texas male 
sterile cytoplasm. 

The stage was set for the epidemic. Come 1970, a new actor 
walked on the stage and converted a pleasant drama into a near 
tragedy. The new actor, Helminthosporium maydis, is a tiny 
mold that had mutated from a second rate parasite of corn into a 
vicious killer. 


A distressing question of 1970 was, "Why wasn't it foreseen?" 
For one thing we often say, "It can't happen here." The Cas- 
sandras who predicted the current energy shortage were ignored 
and then were asked, "Why didn't you tell us?" 

Jones warned the corn fraternity in 1958, or 12 years before 
the epidemic. He wrote, "Genetically uniform pure line varieties 
are very productive and highly desirable when experimental con- 
ditions are favorable and the varieties are well protected from 
pests of all kinds. When these external factors are not favorable, 
the results can be disastrous due to some new virulent parasite." 

Jones was dead by 1970, but the "virulent parasite" was not. 

In 1958 Duvick, a distinguished commercial corn breeder, got 
worried. He tested Texas cytoplasm against Helminthosporium 
maydis. The results were negative. 

Four years later in 1962, Mercado and Lantican in the Phil- 
lipines reported that Texas cytoplasm corn had been virulently 
attacked by Helminthrosporium maydis. They did not warn their 
fellow corn breeders of any impending epidemic, however. 

Duvick got worried again in 1965. He checked again — still 
negative. He wrote the Phillipine result off as due to rainy tropical 

The warning flags were up, but it was hazy and they were hard 
to see. Although Duvick surely tried, he did not foresee a muta- 
tion in Helminthosporium maydis. 

The Deadly Triangle 

Let's have a look at the technical base of the epidemic. Three 
major conditions must come together simultaneously to generate 
an epidemic of disease. There must be a susceptible host, a viru- 
lent parasite, and favorable weather conditions — the magic tri- 

In most epidemics the parasite is an exotic. A few years ago we 
imported a virus from Asia and we had Hong Kong flu. We im- 
ported a fungus on Chinese chestnut nursery stock, and the en- 
suing epidemic wiped out our chestnut trees because they were 

In the corn blight epidemic we unwittingly built susceptibility 
into the host with Texas male sterile cytoplasm. The weather in 
1970 was favorable from Miami to Minnesota. The question of 
the origin of the virulent strain of the fungus is a little obscure, 
but it was probably a local mutation of the fungus — a change in 
the genes of the fungus that made it virulent on Texas male sterile 


A mutation is a rare occurrence, once in a million, say. Helmin- 
thosporium maydis has been around in corn fields making a few 
lesions on leaves at least since Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to 
grow corn. Corn had always been resistant to it, so one leg of 
the magic triangle (a highly susceptible host) was missing. 

It is probable that Helmitithosporimn maydis did produce from 
time to time a mutation which could have been virulent on Texas 
male sterile cytoplasm. But if it did, the mutation died out be- 
cause there was no Texas cytoplasm to trap it. 

When Texas cytoplasm did appear, we couldn't have done 
better had we deliberately tried to capture a mutation of the 
parasite that could attack it. We spread a net of Texas cytoplasm 
across the nation — indeed across the world. If a mutation of the 
fungus occurred anywhere, we had the Texas cytoplasm there 
to catch it. If no mutation occurred one year, we spread our net 
the next year and the next until we did catch one that appeared. 

This, I emphasize, is the view of a Monday morning quarter- 
back, but it does suggest ways of avoiding the mistake again. 

The operative word in the concept we have been discussing 
is uniformity, a strong predisposing factor, which Texas cyto- 
plasm provided. Uniformity is thus a sine qua non of epidemics. 
In the 1960's we had a bridge of uniformity northwest from 
Miami to Minnesota and northeast from Miami to Maine. There 
were no missing spans in the bridge. The fungus marched across 
the bridge and into the newspapers. 

The potatoes in Ireland were uniform, too. The Lumper 
variety provided a bridge from Cork to Belfast just as the Texas 
male sterile corn provided a bridge of uniformity from Miami 
to Minnesota. 

The highly susceptible chestnuts provided the same bridge of 
uniformity for the chestnut blight disease from Mt. Katahdin in 
Maine to Stone Mountain in Georgia. Likewise, the Marquis 
variety of wheat provided a neat bridge across the wheat belt for 
the rust disease in 1916. 

Another important factor in epidemics is monoculture (single 
crop farming) which jams plants together. Farmers crowd corn 
plants in the field and they crowd the fields. 

Mothers warn all children to stay out of crowds if diseases 
are around. Farmers can't keep their plants out of crowds. 

Farmers know the hazards of monoculture, but it is an eco- 
nomic necessity for both farmers and consumers. One alternative 
to monoculture would be to return to a food gathering procedure 


used by tribes 20,000 or 30,000 years ago. This option, of course, 
is impossible. Monoculture is the base of agriculture and agri- 
culture is the base of modern society. 

Science and technology, then, must provide solutions to the 
disease hazards of monoculture, and by and large they have. To 
drive an epidemic, the parasite must be virulent. In general, 
virulence comes in with an imported exotic or as a mutation. The 
potato blight fungus was imported from Latin America, the 
chestnut blight fungus from the Orient, and the corn blight 
presumably from a mutation. 

Putting Out the Fire 

In 1970 the scientists who were to quench the fire assembled 
from all over America, from the Agricultural Experiment Sta- 
tions, from industry, and from the U.S. Department of Agricul- 
ture (USDA) . Those concerned rose to a man, donned their fire- 
fighting hats, and put out the fire. Yes, it still smouldered in 
1971 and a few wisps of smoke showed in 1972, but it was well 
under control during 1971. 

What did they do? They debated long and late, but actually 
they had only three options, one for each leg of the magic tri- 
angle. They could not command nature to retract the mutation 
of the fungus that she had produced, and thereby break the 
parasite leg. They could do little to control the weather leg of 
the triangle. Thus, they could really only deal with the host leg 
of the triangle. 

They knew the susceptibility was due to the 1 exas male sterile 
cytoplasm. They would, therefore, return to the use of old 
fashioned "normal" cytoplasm. In the winter of 1970—1971 they 
grew corn mostly anywhere warm enough to grow corn — Puerto 
Rico, Mexico, Argentina, Hawaii, and Australia. 

They had to rehire all the high school students for detasseling. 
They sold the newly produced corn with normal cytoplasm in 
what they thought were the most susceptible places. In order to 
have enough seed for the other areas, they mixed the normal 
corn seed with Texas line seed and left the Texas corns to the 
northernmost areas of the country where the weather was less 
favorable to the disease. 

Nature cooperated. She reduced the impact of the weather leg 
of the triangle. The weather was less favorable than in 1970. Al- 
together, the corn yield jumped back to normal in 1971 and the 
fire was essentially out. 


Other Crops Vulnerable 

The epidemic raises a serious question: How vulnerable are 
other crops? The answer is that they are indeed vulnerable, be- 
cause of their uniformity. Uniformity of cotton varieties in some 
parts of California has been enforced by law, as has uniformity 
of wheat varieties in parts of Canada. 

Farmers have insisted on uniformity of plant size, ear height, 
etc., for mechanical planting, weeding, harvesting. The market 
demands a uniform product. Our whole agricultural system is 
geared to uniformity and uniformity is geared to epidemics. 

Herewith is listed uniformity of some of our crops in descend- 
ing order: 

Millet 100% in 3 varieties 

Peas 96% in 2 varietal types 

Snap beans 76% in 3 varieties 

Potato 72% in 4 varieties 

Wheat 50% in 9 varieties 

Sugar beet 42% in 2 varieties 

The Norin dwarfing gene in wheat is spread all over the globe, 
as is the Taichung dwarfing gene in rice. Every snap bean in 
America has the same gene for stringlessness. 

No fungus has so far mutated to like any of these genes, 
but the operative phrase is so far. We hope never. 

We suddenly learned that we had not done well in saving genes 
for our major crops. Fortunately, we still had the "normal" 
genes to combat the corn blight and we used them. But our 
gene pools for most crops are woefully looked after. 

Yes, we have gene pools for some crops. The International 

Taking infra-red photos from a "cherry picker" basket, a remote sensing re- 
searcher in Michigan works to identify the "signature" for several different 
conditions of corn. This makes it possible to identify the conditions, including 
corn blight, from high-altitude photos. 

: ^Miu 

Rice Research Institute in the Philippines has a great collection 
of rice genes and CIMMYT, the wheat and corn institute in 
Mexico, has the same for wheat genes. 

Most genes are preserved by individual geneticists and breeders, 
however. They are preserved by the firefighters themselves, not 
by society which needs them. 

For instance, the opaque-2 gene for corn was collected by 
Jones and described and preserved by Singleton and others for 
nearly 50 years before it was found by Mertz and Nelson to be 
the gene for high lysine corn. It easily could have been lost. The 
nation is now hard at work to set up better gene pools. We will 
surely need them to put out some future fires. 

Fighting Fires Abroad 

We learned another important fact for fire fighting. We know 
most epidemic fires have been lighted by imported parasites. 
We could have listed others: Dutch elm disease, banana wilt, 
grape mildew, tobacco blue mold. 

This shows beyond a doubt that we should fight fires abroad, 
before they move by some jet plane across the ocean to our crops. 
We said that the Filipinos first saw a devastating strain of 
Helminthospormm maydis- We should have sent our firefighters 
and our corn strains over there to learn the tools and methods 
needed, in case the blight ever hit here. 

Perhaps the point of the story is that the Nation established 
and preserved a system of agricultural research in America that 
could be and was marshalled to fight the fire. Society set up the 
research system originally to serve agriculture, to make it more 
efficient so that the people would have sufficient quality and 
quantity in food and fiber. 

The system succeeded so that for some 40 years between 1930 
and 1970, the Nation could produce more food than it could eat. 
In 1933, at the bottom of the depression, there was considerable 
pressure to plow under every third production researcher along 
with the third row of crops and the third little pig. 

The agricultural science effort did falter somewhat but it was 
kept in being, and proved its worth in 1970—1971. 

All in all, the fire was an exciting episode in the life of the sci- 
entists in the experiment stations, USDA, and industry. It is a 
marvelous tribute to the wisdom of the men who set up the sys- 
tem a century ago, and to the wisdom of those who kept it going 
despite pressure to weaken or even dismantle it. 



Beef— From Trail Drives 
to America's Main Course 

By Larry V. Cundiff 

Avast array of beef cuts and products to fit the needs of any 
household are an accepted fact to grocery shoppers in 
America today, but this has not always been so. In colonial 
times cattle were scarce and used primarily for work and produc- 
tion of milk and hide. 

It was not until the mid 19th century, during the advent of 
the industrial revolution, that cattle were propagated for the pri- 
mary purpose of producing beef to utilize the vast prairies and 
ranges of the western frontier. Trail drives to new railroads in 
Missouri and Kansas provided for transportation of cattle to 
slaughter houses in the East. 

The appetites of factory workers and Americans of all walks 
of life were whetted for beef. Our appetite for beef increased, 
until today we are producing and consuming over a fourth of 
all beef produced in the world. 

At the same time that railroads were developing and a beef 
cattle industry was emerging in the West, legislation with a far 
reaching impact on agriculture and the nation's economy was 
passed in Congress. In 1862, the Morrill Act provided for the 
formation of Land Grant Universities in each state. Subsequently, 
State Agricultural Experiment Stations enabled by the Hatch 
Act of 1887 were established. 

These and later acts providing for research and extension in 
cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 
established a mechanism which has provided for the discovery and 
application of extraordinary advances in science and technology 
to all fields of agriculture, including production of beef. 

Longhorns and other cattle native to various areas at the time 

Larry V. Cundiff is Research Geneticist, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Agricul- 
tural Research Service, USDA, Clay Center, Neb. 


were slow maturing. Steers were grazed until they were four to 
seven years of age before reaching the degree of fatness desired 
by the market. Early experiments indicated that the Shorthorn 
and Hereford breeds imported in 1817 and the Angus imported 
in 1873 from Britain could be depended upon to sire earlier 
maturing progeny with a propensity to fatten to a desired market 
condition by two to four years of age when grazed on native 

Earlier maturity had the advantage of reducing the amount of 
time and land required for growing slaughter cattle, freeing 
more land for cow herds to produce greater amounts of beef. 
"Better sire campaigns" initiated by State Extension and USDA 
personnel in 1908 were successful in converting the beef cattle 
populations to straightbred Herefords, Angus or Shorthorns, 
using purebred sires of these breeds. 

As agriculture became more efficient, more people were 
available for employment in other industries. And with an in- 
crease in our population the need for food and new technology 
to produce food has accelerated at an increasing rate. The "Sci- 
entific Method," based on consideration of previous knowledge 
and existing resources to develop hypotheses or ideas, the veracity 
of which can be examined by experiments, has been applied to 
meet this requirement in all fields of agriculture. 

Experiments have been conducted on an intensive basis to gain 
understanding of basic biological phenomena, and on an extensive 
basis to evaluate costs and benefits of applying new technology to 
production. In the case of beef cattle, these investigations have 
been pursued in scientific disciplines such as genetics, nutrition, 
physiology, meat science, and veterinary medicine as they evolved 
from the biological sciences. Other disciplines such as marketing, 
production economics, and engineering also have played an im- 
portant role. 

For example, principles of population genetics were developed 
by Sewall Wright in the 1920's from experiments with guinea 
pigs conducted by USDA. Adaptation and extension of these 
to farm animals by Jay L. Lush, at Iowa State University in the 
1930's and 1940's, provided the basis for much of the genetics 
research with beef cattle. 

Most of the beef cattle breeding research has been conducted 
since 1946, when Congress passed the Research and Marketing 
Act which encouraged the organization of research on a regional 
basis. Regional projects focusing on improving beef cattle 


Penn State researchers show cattle producers the results of performance testing 
of meat animals. 

through breeding methods have been conducted cooperatively by 
State Agricultural Experiment Stations, and USDA Agricultural 
Research Service stations in the North Central, Western and 
Southern States. 

Early in these projects fertility, growth rate, efficiency of 
growth, and carcass desirability were recognized as the major 
economic traits contributing to efficient production of desirable 


Cattle varied significantly in these characteristics. Research 
determined the amount of the variation that was heritable and 
procedures for measuring these characteristics to maximize effec- 
tiveness of selection. 

Results indicated that the differences in growth rate between 
animals within a breed were highly heritable and that selecting 
breeding stock on the basis of superior growth rate would lead to 
improved growth rate, feed efficiency, and increased value of 
retail beef produced per unit of cost in subsequent generations. 

As a result, beef cattle improvement programs based on records 
of performance were initiated under the guidance of the Co- 
operative Agricultural Extension Service in most states in the 
1950's. Subsequently, national organizations — including most 
breed associations involved with registering purebred cattle — 
initiated record of performance programs as a service to their 
breeders and a vehicle for breed improvement. 

Sire Evaluation 

National sire evaluation programs are beginning to emerge 
whereby sires can be compared to each other on the basis of their 
progeny. Those that are most outstanding can be used through- 
out the breed by artificial insemination to accelerate genetic im- 

Selection within breeds can make a steady continued change, 
but this is a relatively slow process which alone will not be suf- 
ficient to meet projected demands for increased production of 
beef. Also, it was found that reproduction could not be improved 
appreciably by selection within breeds. Experiments on inbreed- 
ing (the mating of close relatives) revealed that inbreeding re- 
duced reproduction, survival, and early growth rate. 

Crossbreeding experiments have demonstrated that hybrid 
vigor can unlock depressing effects of inbreeding that have slowly, 
but inevitably, accumulated over many generations of pure- 

For example, an experiment involving Herefords, Angus and 
Shorthorn crosses and straightbreds has revealed that production 
per cow can be increased 23 percent due to effects of hybrid 
vigor on increased survival and growth rate of crossbred calves, 
and on increased fertility and milk production of crossbred cows. 
More than half of this advantage is dependent on the use of cross- 
bred cows. 

I 119 

Results such as these have had profound effects on breeding 
systems employed in the industry. It is conservative to estimate 
that more than half the cattle marketed today are crossbred as 
compared to a very low percentage 10 years ago (two generations 
in cattle breeding) and their numbers are increasing rapidly. 

The incorporation of crossbreeding into commercial produc- 
tion has been accompanied by the importation of a number of 
new breeds into North America from other countries via quaran- 
tine facilities of the Canada Department of Agriculture. 

Interest in these and other breeds, such as dairy breeds and 
dual purpose breeds that have had a limited impact on beef pro- 
duction, has accelerated. Thus, the germ plasm base has been 
extended to include a wide range of biological types represented 
by breeds varying widely in characteristics such as milk produc- 
tion, growth, mature size, and carcass composition. 

The optimum choice of breeds and system of crossbreeding 
may very well differ, depending upon the quantity and quality of 
feed supply (for example, feed grains vs. forage, or arid and semi- 
arid ranges vs. lush meadows) and demands of the market (trend 
toward less fat) . 

Experiments are in progress to characterize these breeds in dif- 
ferent feed environments and production situations for the full 
range of biological traits influencing economic production of 

A coordinated approach involving scientists from a number of 
disciplines including genetics, nutrition, physiology of growth 
and reproduction, meats and management systems is required to 
learn how to best synchronize variable germ plasm, feed and other 
resources with market requirements. 

The "Scientific Method" has been used by nutritionists on an 
intensive and extensive basis to identify the nutrients (carbo- 
hydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals) required for ef- 
ficient production of beef. Research has also established analytical 
procedures whereby various forages, cereal grains and potential 
feedstuffs such as industrial by-products can be evaluated for 
their nutrient and chemical content. 

Results from hundreds of experiments at Agricultural Experi- 
ment Stations have been compiled into nutrition standards for 
beef cattle. They are used in the industry considering the supply 
and cost of alternative feedstuffs, to formulate rations that mini- 
mize the cost of production. 

This research has been accompanied by extraordinary ad- 


Performance-selected sires added 150 to 200 pounds per animal to long year- 
ling weights, in this purebred herd of 1,500 cows owned by the San Carlos 
Apache Tribal Council. An Arizona scientist cooperated in the cattle improve- 
ment efforts. 

vances from research in plant, soil and agricultural engineering 
sciences providing for more efficient production and harvesting 
of vast quantities of corn, sorghum grains, soybeans and other 

Similarly, advances in veterinary science relating to animal 
health, and engineering providing for mechanization in feed 
processing, have contributed to the formation of a feed manu- 
facturing and cattle feeding industry involving feedlots carry- 
ing from 500 to 100,000 head. These technological advances 
have been translated into greater efficiency by reducing age at 


slaughter to 15 to 20 months and freeing further land for ex- 
panded cow herds to produce more calves and subsequently more 

Knowledge concerning the site and nature of chemical reac- 
tions that occur between intake of feedstuffs and their incorpora- 
tion into milk, muscle, fat and bone continues to evolve from 
intensive research. 

The ability of ruminants (multi-stomach animals) to thrive 
on grass and other forages, while monogastric (single stomach) 
animals required cereal grains or other easily digested foods, has 
been recognized for centuries. Following the leads of German 
workers, the underlying mechanisms responsible for this mystery 
have become more clearly understood. 

Cellulose, the primary structural carbohydrate of plants, can- 
not be digested by salivary or pancreatic enzymes produced by 
all animals, but the vast population of microorganisms contained 
in the rumen produce an enzyme (cellulase) which breaks down 
cellulose to form sugars on which the microorganisms thrive. 
Volatile fatty acids provided by the microorganisms as a by- 
product of this fermentation process are utilized by the host ani- 
mal as an alternative source of energy to those derived from more 
easily digested carbohydrates. 

Another important advantage of ruminants results from the 
ability of microorganisms to convert urea or other sources of non- 
protein nitrogen into amino acids and subsequently into bac- 
terial protein which can be used by the host animal as a source 
of protein for growth, lactation, or other physiological activities. 
Understanding of this biological phenomenon led to experi- 
ments on the use of urea in protein supplements — and their use to- 
day in growing- fattening rations to reduce costs of beef produc- 
tion. (Urea is a cheap synthetic chemical) . 

These unique characteristics of ruminants provide for the 
adaptation of cattle to a wide variety of feed resources. 

Even today when essentially all beef in the fresh meat counter 
comes from cattle finished in feed lots on relatively high grain 
rations, about 80 percent of the energy used for beef production 
is derived from forages that cannot be utilized by nonruminants. 
These characteristics assure that beef will remain an enjoyable 
source of protein, even in the future when cattle can no longer 
compete economically with humans and other animals for cereal 
grains. They will convert crop residues as well as forages grown 
on nontillable land, which presently includes more than half the 


land area in the United States, into beef and milk for human 

Physiology research has provided insight into the effects of 
hormones produced by various organs in the body and how they 
interact to regulate growth, lactation, and reproduction. Inten- 
sive studies in these areas contributed to the discovery of growth 
stimulants such as diethylstilbestrol, minute amounts of which 
nutritionists found could be fed or implanted to increase gains 
in growing-finishing steers by 10 percent. Similarly, melengestrol 
acetate (MGA) stimulates growth of heifers about 10 percent. 

Freezing Bull Semen 

A series of experiments conducted by scientists at a number 
of Agricultural Experiment Stations culminated in the ability to 
freeze bull semen, and to extend the use of outstanding sires to 
produce large numbers of calves out of cows in many herds by 
artificial insemination (AI). 

This is likely the most significant development from reproduc- 

Taste panel evaluates meat products in Pennsylvania. 


tive physiology research to date. It has been followed by develop- 
ment of an AI industry which has had a great impact on dairy 
cattle production. AI is experiencing a growing impact on beef 
production, especially since it has been the only means of intro- 
ducing recently imported "exotic" breeds into beef production 
in the United States. 

Criteria for evaluating differences in carcass composition relat- 
ing to percentage of lean, fat, and bone have been evaluated 
by meat scientists. These findings have been incorporated into 
yield grades used in market channels to reflect differences be- 
tween carcasses in value of edible beef. 

Meat science has also included the study of factors such as 
alternative processing procedures, refrigeration, and freezing on 
beef quality relating to tenderness, flavor, acceptability and shelf 
life in the meat counter. 

Technology such as this — combined with research and develop- 
ments by industry — have all contributed to the efficiency with 
which beef is processed, transported and marketed to provide a 
steady supply of wholesome, safe, nutritious and palatable food 
which usually serves as the main course on the table for family and 

These are but a few technological advances from research pro- 
vided to the U.S. beef cattle industry since its inception with 
Longhorn cattle. Other examples from these and other disciplines 
could be cited. 

The rate with which new technology has been applied has 
been equally phenomenal. Cattle producers and feeders, like pro- 
ducers of all agricultural products, have shown unprecedented 
ingenuity and uptake of innovations and new technology. As a 
result, production costs have been significantly reduced. 

Americans spend less of their disposable income for food to- 
day than in 1940. During this period beef has become the most 
popular source of dietary protein. As family income has increased, 
per capita consumption rose steadily to over 116 pounds in 1972, 
approximately 60 percent of the red meat consumption. 

Continued importance of beef as a palatable source of dietary 
protein seems assured by the adaptation of beef cattle, as rumi- 
nants, to a wide range of feed resources including crop residues, 
grasses and other forages. The challenge of beef cattle research 
is to provide further technology to assure that these feed resources 
are more efficiently utilized in order to meet the ever increasing 
demand for beef of acceptable quality. 


How Chicken on Sunday 
Became an Anyday Treat 

By Robert E. Cook, Harvey L. Bumgardner and William E. Shaklee 

Broilers ... in elegant restaurants, short-order cafes, carry-out 
food establishments, in the home, and on the grill in the 
backyard ... are part of today's American culture. 

Only three decades ago Americans depended on countless back- 
yard flocks to provide them with chicken for the table. Today, 
however, broiler production is industrialized in much the same 
way as the production of cars, shoes or TV sets. 

Revolutionary changes in production and marketing have 
transformed the backyard flocks into the modern efficient U. S. 
broiler industry. These changes resulted from the teamwork of 
the Industry, the State Agricultural Experiment Stations, and 
the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) . 

Advances have been directly related to research developments. 
Application of these developments changed the broiler from an 
expensive special occasion food to an abundant low cost staple 
that everyone can afford. 

The chicken is not a native American bird. It came to this 
continent with the first European settlers. There were small home 
chicken flocks at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1 607, but those chickens 
and the methods used for growing them had little in common 
with the more than three billion broilers now produced each 
year in the United States. 

The story of the growth of broiler production from small 
backyard flocks to the enormous industry of today is paralleled 
by a story of scientific breakthroughs made in the agricultural 
experiment stations. 

With all of today's gadgetry, it is easy to forget the way Mother 

Robert E. Cook is Head of the Department of Poultry Science, North Carolina State 
University at Raleigh. Harvey L. Bumgardner is Professor of Poultry Science at the 
university. William E. Shaklee is Principal Poultry Geneticist, Cooperative State Research 
Service, USDA. 


Nature does things. In nature, a hen sits on her eggs, warming 
them for 21 days. That is Mother Nature's way of incubation. 
But man has been trying to improve on nature for thousands 
of years. The ancient Egyptian and Chinese civilizations de- 
veloped crude artificial methods of incubation. 

Although the first American incubator was invented about 
1844, it was not until the 20th century that the predecessor of 
today's huge scientific incubation machine came along. In 1918 
Dr. S. B. Smith patented his room-sized forced draft incubator. 
On the heels of Dr. Smith came Ira M. Petersime in 1922 with 
the first electrically heated and electrically regulated incubator. 

Today's broilers start as day-old chicks from the gigantic in- 
cubators in hatcheries that produce up to one million or more 
chicks a week. 

But let's look back for a minute at the chickens in the back- 
yards of our forebears in Jamestown. They were pretty scrawny 
birds. Maybe they were big enough to eat by the time they were 
six months old. 

Today's broiler, thanks to researchers in the Agricultural 
Experiment Stations and to poultry breeders, weighs four pounds 
before he reaches nine weeks of age. He is fed better, housed 
and cared for better, and pampered in many ways. He is also a 
different bird genetically. 

Genetic improvement of the broiler really began about 1940. 
The State of Georgia was emerging as an important area for 
broiler production. Alert poultry scientists at the State's land 
grant institution, The University of Georgia, recognized a need 
of the broiler growers and set about to satisfy it. 

In 1940 the Georgia Poultry Breeder's test began. Identifying 
genetically superior chickens that would produce bigger, better 
and more efficient chickens was the purpose of this test. 

Speaking to a group of poultry producers in 1944, Howard 
Pierce, national poultry research director of A & P Food Stores, 
threw out a challenge to the Poultry Industry. He suggested that 
the industry seek improved chickens for meat in the same manner 
that agricultural science had produced broad breasted turkeys. 

The remark was editorialized in the poultry press, and the 
American poultry leaders accepted Mr. Pierce's challenge. Real- 
izing that producers and consumers alike would benefit through 
development of superior meat-type chickens, A & P offered to 
sponsor a program promoting the idea. 

The campaign began. Representatives of ten national poultry 
organizations, three leading USDA poultry specialists, and two 


Left, basting broiled chicken in an oven. Right, youngster ready to dig in 
despite a missing tooth. 

poultry magazine editors met in 1945 in Chicago, and the Na- 
tional-Chicken-of-Tomorrow Committee was formed. 

Committees in 44 states from coast to coast were set up to 
supervise the local phase of the contest, a contest to breed and 
grow the best meat type chicken. 

State contests were held in 1946, state and regional trials in 
1947, and in 1948 at the University of Delaware's Agricultural 
Experiment Station the national finals were conducted. 

Leading up to the finals, poultry breeders were experimenting 
with various types of breeding and cross-breeding. Their goal 
was to produce chickens with broader breasts, thicker drumsticks, 
flatter and broader backs, unblemished skin, no pin feathers, 
and no general undesirable characteristics. 

Barnyard Revolution 

The Chicken-of-Tomorrow Contest was a barnyard revolu- 
tion. It fundamentally changed meat-type chickens. It proved 
that much improved chickens for table use could be produced 
economically and profitably, and people in the poultry industry 
were interested in doing just that. 

The contest was designed to reduce the costs of producing 
chickens, not to get a higher price for them. It was an effort to 
get the premium on the production end through lower feed costs, 
shorter growing periods, and more meat. The contest was a 
definite success. 

When the Chicken-of-Tomorrow Contest began, the accepted 
national feed conversion ratio was four pounds of feed to one 
pound of chicken. Now it is two pounds of feed to one pound of 


chicken. When the contest began, it required 14 to 18 weeks 
to produce a chicken that weighed four pounds. Today a four- 
pound chicken is raised in less than nine weeks. 

Poultry breeders and research workers at Land-Grant Uni- 
versities are continuing their efforts to provide better broilers 
at more economical prices. The consumer continues to enjoy their 

It's a dramatic story — the story of the scientific breeding of a 
better chicken for American tables and for tables all over the 

Just as dramatic are the discoveries that make the diets of to- 
day's chickens more nutritious and more efficient than the diet 
that most people eat each day. 

Chickens of early America roamed at will in backyards and 
in barn lots and scavenged for their food. The housewife or the 
farmer threw them a little grain, but for the most part these 
backyard chickens found their own food. They balanced their 
diet as their wild jungle fowl ancestors of India did, by catching 
bugs and insects and by eating grass and grass seed. And they had 

"Complete" Poultry Feeds 

Early attempts to improve the living conditions of the chicken 
were failures. Chickens were brought into houses and their food 
was provided for them. But they didn't grow. Hens layed few 
eggs and young growing chickens developed rickets. Why? They 
had no sunshine, and it is sunshine which makes it possible for 
chickens and other animals to manufacture vitamin D in their 
own bodies. 

For a long time the American consumer could enjoy frying 
chickens or broilers only in the summer months from eggs layed 
in the spring. 

The discovery of vitamin D revolutionized the poultry in- 
dustry. In 1930 cod liver oil as a source of vitamin D was mixed 
into poultry feeds. Since then it has been possible to raise poultry 
indoors and in all seasons of the year. 

We still don't know the exact number of vitamins. In fact, 
man's first knowledge of these health-promoting substances dates 
back only to the beginning of this century. 

We do know that the growing chicken, or broiler, needs at 
least 13 vitamins. We add 12 of these to the feed we manufacture 
for him. The 13 th, biotin, is found in many feed ingredients and 
is also manufactured by the chicken in his intestinal tract. Bits of 


Normal and vitamin D-defkient chicks in early nutrition experiments in Wis- 
consin. Harry Steenbock, shown with laboratory animal, discovered that the 
sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays were the source of vitamin D, and that exposed 
surfaces trapped and stored the vitamin. This led to enrichment of foods and 
successful growing of chicks under artificial light when UV was added to the 
spectrum. The giant broiler industry and widespread use of vitamin D-enriched 
foods stemmed from these discoveries. 

information and clues used to unravel the mystery of the vitamin 
needs of broilers were provided by hundreds of workers. 

It is hard to credit any single person with the discovery of any 
one vitamin and the documentation of its need by broilers. In 
almost every case clues were provided by many scientists in State 
Agricultural Experiment Stations. 

One of the most exciting cases involves the discovery of the 
last of the known vitamins. In 1949 vitamin Bi 2 was discovered, 
making it possible for us to develop "complete" poultry feeds. 

For years scientists knew that an unidentified growth factor 
was present in certain animal proteins. Broilers grew better if 
such things as liver meal, fish meal, meat scrap or milk by-pro- 
ducts were included in their feed. Poultry nutritionists in Agri- 
cultural Experiment Stations all over the United States joined 
in the search to identify this substance. 

They scored another victory for the American farmer — and 
the American consumer — with the isolation of the animal protein 
factor. The victory was won following thousands of man hours 
of research. 


Before the victory came, scientists had found that cow manure 
and chicken droppings also contained this unidentified growth 
factor. Remember our backyard or barnyard chicken? He was 
getting more than bugs and worms when he scratched in the 
cow lot. He was also getting this unidentified growth factor. 

The next step was to isolate the factor and then produce it 

In 1949 Dr. H. R. Bird announced that this unknown growth 
factor was a member of the vitamin B complex: vitamin B^. 

Vitamin B^ found great application in poultry nutrition. 
Baby chicks must have it for survival and early growth. Hens 
need it to produce hatchable eggs. 

The discovery that vitamin B^ could be synthesized in labo- 
ratories opened the door to unlimited supply. Pharmaceutical 
laboratories immediately began its production. Vitamin B^ im- 
proves the value of the millions of tons of vegetable protein 
meals used in poultry feeds. Less animal protein meals are needed, 
and the cost of broiler feed and of the broiler itself is reduced. 

Vitamins are important, but there are many other important 
considerations in mixing a broiler feed. Calories, for example. 

A chicken has a relatively short and simple digestive tract. This 
limits the quantity of feed that a broiler can eat. Broilers need a 
feed with lots of calories per pound so they can grow into big 
tasty chickens. 

In 1949, scientists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station produced a feed that met this need. It contained 
about 70 percent corn and was consequently high in calories. 

Feed manufacturers went to work in earnest and came out 
with adaptations of the Connecticut feed that met two require- 
ments. The feeds were high in calories and they were economical 
to produce. The manufacturers coined the phrase "high-energy 
feed" to describe their new product. 

Stress in the Broiler World 

A constant problem in broiler production is stress. Stress in- 
cludes such things as extremes in temperature, disease, crowding, 
and poor management. One or more of these is almost invariably 
present in broiler production and stress slows growth in the 

In 1950, researchers discovered that depressed growth caused 
by stress is overcome by adding antibiotics to the broiler's feed. 
Feed manufacturers now routinely include antibiotics in broiler 
feeds, and broilers grow faster than ever. 


Mechanical harvesting broiler operation, developed by Georgia scientists, which 
results in less bruising- of birds than hand harvesting. Top, electric-powered 
herder pushes chickens onto conveyor belt in foreground trough. Birds are 
docile under normal blue light. Center, conveyor belt takes chickens from broiler 
house to three-tiered transport vehicle designed to fit in with system. Above, new 
vehicle at left contrasts with traditional transport of broilers in stacked cages. 


In 1952, Agricultural Experiment Station scientists found 
that, for best broiler growth, calories and protein must be bal- 
anced. Electronic computers entered the broiler feed picture in 
1970. Linear programming with a computer is now a widely 
used mathematical technique in the poultry feed manufacturing 

Two kinds of information are put into the computer. One 
describes the kind of feed needed. The other includes all the pos- 
sible ingredients that might be used in producing the feed and 
the cost of each. Supplied with this information, the computer 
calculates the cheapest combination of ingredients to satisfy the 
standards for a high quality feed. In other words, the best feed 
for fast broiler growth at the cheapest price. 

And we pay less for boilers at the supermarket. 

National Health Plan — for Broilers 

When you increase the number of animals, people, pigs or 
chickens in a given space, disease is a bigger problem and sanita- 
tion becomes more important. The backyard chicken had lots 
of territory to roam. He wasn't grown in such intimate contact 
with his peers. Today 10,000 broiler chicks can be raised in one 
house with few losses because of improved management and 
disease control methods. 

One of the first diseases brought under control was pullorum 
disease. At one time pullorum caused losses as high as 80 to 90 
percent of a flock, occurring mainly during the first three weeks 
of life. 

The main reservoir of the bacteria which causes pullorum is 
the egg-producing organs of the hen. An infected hen passes the 
disease to her chicks directly through the egg. The disease is 
transmitted also if a chick eats any feed, water, or litter which 
has been contaminated with infected droppings. One infected 
chick can transmit the disease to an entire flock. 

Scientists at the Agricultural Experiment Stations found that 
a simple blood test could be used to identify carriers of the pul- 
lorum bacteria. By eliminating these carriers from the breeding 
flock, chicks can be hatched free of the disease. 

In 193 J USD A established the National Poultry Improvement 
Plan in cooperation with state poultry improvement associations. 
Part of this plan was a program for controlling pullorum disease. 
Today this once deadly disease has virtually been eliminated from 
U. S. poultry flocks. 


Streamlining the Hog, 
an Abused Individual 

By Ruth Steyn 

Stupid, greedy, bad-tempered, dirty, and fat. The storybook 
image of hogs is uncomplimentary in the extreme. But let 
that little pig, or rather 220-pound hog, go to market, and 
the tune changes. Then we enjoy juicy ham, tasty spareribs, siz- 
zling pork chops, and the hotdog. 

Many of the epithets directed toward hogs are unjust. By 
nature they are among the cleanest of animals. If given a choice, 
domestic hogs — like their wild ancestors — will choose a clean 
place to sleep and wallow. And in properly designed buildings, 
hogs learn to deposit their wastes in gutters, which are flushed 
with water, so that the main part of the pen stays clean. 

The supposed gluttony of hogs probably reflects their unselec- 
tive diet more than its quantity. The omnivorous hog will eat 
most everything from acorns to zucchini, including weeds, 
potatoes, sugar beets, and grasshoppers. Of course, the diet of 
modern American hogs is more restricted, consisting largely of 
corn plus various protein, vitamin, and mineral supplements. 
But regardless of its exact diet, the hog is a rapid, prolific, and 
relatively efficient meat-making machine. 

Undoubtedly the ponderous, jowly, short-legged hog typical of 
the early 20th century deserved to be called fat. Some 3 5 pounds 
of lard were cut from each 180-pound carcass in those days when 
hogs were raised as a source of both lean meat and animal fat. 

Before the development of petroleum and its products, lard 
was an important lubricant and lighting fuel. Prior to develop- 
ment of synthetic detergents, a great deal of lard was used in 
soap making. And until the advent of cheap vegetable oils, lard 
was a favorite shortening in America's kitchens. 

Ruth Steyn is Associate Editor, Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment 
Station, Ames. 


As substitutes for lard became dominant during the 1930's and 
1940's, consumer tastes also changed. With less physical toil and 
more sedentary occupations, people needed fewer calories and 
wanted leaner, meatier pork. The lard-oriented swine industry, 
adapted to the needs of early Americans, was in deep trouble. 
Lard prices declined. Pork consumption per capita decreased. 
What was needed was a pig that would convert our readily avail- 
able corn and soybean meal into high-quality lean meat, or pro- 
tein, instead of into fat. 

Even before 1900, scientists at several State Experiment Sta- 
tions had discovered that the protein and fat content of pigs dif- 
fered among breeds, types, and grades. However, these early 
experiments were limited in scope and did not lead to significant 
decreases in the fat content of hogs. 

By the 1930's it was evident that a systematic and extensive 
breeding program was needed to develop meatier hogs, improve 
the reproductive performance of sows, and increase the growth 
rate and feed efficiency of pigs destined for market. A coordinated 


effort to achieve these goals was launched in 1936 with establish- 
ment of the Regional Swine Breeding Laboratory at Ames, Iowa. 
The Swine Laboratory is supported by the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture and State Experiment Stations in the Midwest, center 
of U.S. hog production. 

About this time, corn breeders discovered the potential of 
heterosis, or hybrid vigor — the increased growth and yield of 
offspring produced by mating (or by the crossing) of two pure 
lines of corn. Would hybrid vigor show up in pigs when a sow of 
one breed was crossbred to a boar of a second breed? 

Controlled experiments at State Agricultural Experiment Sta- 
tions soon proved that crossbreeding led to larger and heavier 
litters, lower death rates of young pigs, and faster growth rates. 
For farmers, crossbreeding meant about 20 percent more pork 
produced per litter. For consumers, it meant lower pork prices 
due to the increased efficiency of production. 

More "Mothering Ability" 

Early crossbreeding was strictly for market hog production. 
That is, the pigs fed and slaughtered for market were crossbreds, 
but both parents were purebreds. Additional studies showed that 
crossbred sows, whose inheritance stemmed from two different 
breeds, had greater "mothering ability" than purebred sows. 

A crossbred sow, when mated to a third breed of boar in a so- 
called three-way cross, produces more pigs and stronger pigs 
than a purebred sow. The crossbred mother also gives more milk, 
which helps the young pigs to survive their rather hazardous early 

Introduction of crossbred sows further increased the efficiency 
of pork production. At five months of age, litters from three- 
way crosses were 40 percent heavier than purebred litters. Be- 
cause the cost of feeding and caring for a sow is about the same 
regardless of the number, size, or survival of her offspring, supe- 
rior maternal performance reduces the per-unit cost of produc- 
ing pork, a saving that can be passed on to consumers. 

Baby pigs face numerous hardships that often kill 20 to 30 
percent of a litter during the first week or two after birth. Forty 
years ago, the sow herself was a big threat to her offspring. A 
three-pound piglet had little chance of surviving if its 500- 
pound mother accidentally rolled over onto it. 

The modern farrowing crate, developed and tested at several 
State Experiment Stations during the 1950s, makes life a lot 


safer for young pigs. Although several types of farrowing crate 
are used today, the basic principle of all is similar. A restrain- 
ing frame around the sow confines her during and after birth of 
the young. This prevents her from lying on the baby pigs, but 
allows them to reach the sow for nursing. 

Before the farrowing crate, the swine producer had to be 
on hand at farrowing time, or risk losing valuable baby pigs. 
The farrowing crate saved producers a lot of time, labor, expense, 
and sleepless nights spent rounding up and protecting vulnerable 
baby pigs. 

Although these changes all increased the efficiency of hog 
production, they did little to satisfy the need for less fatty, leaner 
hogs. In the late 1940's, Lanoy N. Hazel at the Iowa Experiment 
Station realized that a method of measuring the amount of fat on 
live animals was essential for selecting and breeding meatier hogs. 
The traditional method of determining the fat content involved 
killing an animal and examining its carcass. Unfortunately, 
when a particularly lean animal was found in this manner, the 
hog obviously no longer could be bred. 

Hazel had several ideas for measuring fat on live pigs. But all 
were fairly complicated and impractical for screening large num- 
bers of hogs to find the few superior animals with less fat. Finally, 
following up a colleague's suggestion, Hazel tried an absurdly 
simple technique that worked. 

A 1 0-Cent Ruler 

He made a small incision in the skin on the hog's back, pushed 
a 10-cent ruler through the fat until it reached solid muscle un- 

Left, Lanoy N. Hazel demonstrates backfat probe. Right, modern ultrasonic 
probe records both fat layers and loin eye area on live animals. 


derneath, and read off the thickness of the fat cover from the 
ruler. Since most hog fat is uniformly distributed outside the 
lean meat, this method provided a good indication of how much 
fat a hog carried. 

In essence nothing more than a narrow ruler, the backfat probe 
opened the door to scientific, selective breeding of meaty hogs. 
The original backfat probe underwent several modifications. 
Today ultrasonic probes are used to measure the fat layer and 
lean loin portion of live animals, and breeders can accurately 
identify and select for breeding those hogs with less fat and more 
lean meat. 

Top, a meat-type Duroc hog. Above, carcass of meat-type hog at left con- 
trasted with that of old-style hog. 


With development of the backfat probe, commercial hog 
producers became more interested in evaluating the performance 
of their hogs. Live boar testing stations were set up in the major 
pork-producing States. At these, young boars from different 
herds are raised under uniform conditions. Their average daily 
gain in weight, backfat thickness, and feed efficiency (pounds 
gained per pound of feed consumed) are measured. Boars that 
perform well are then used in breeding herds where their superior 
qualities can be passed on to many offspring. 

The backfat probe and swine testing programs set the stage for 
evolution of sleek, meaty hogs. As leaner hogs were identified, 
selected, and bred together, the hog's shape gradually but steadily 
changed year by year. 

In the mid-19 5 O's, for example, only 32 percent of the average 
hog carcass was ham and loin. Today, about 44 percent is ham 
and loin — an increase of lean-pork yield by the equivalent of 
half a ham and a third of a loin per hog. 

And the pig was shedding its now largely useless layer of fat. 
In 1955, packers cut 34 pounds of lard off the average carcass. 
The same sized carcass yields only 20 pounds of lard today. 

Evolution of the modern, meat-type hog continues. The hog 
of the future may carry no more fat cover than a chicken or 
steer and will be far more muscular than today's pig. 

It's likely that the actual hog will change shape more rapidly 
than its popular image. We still may liken the rotund pigs of 
yesterday to a fat person. But the trim, lean hog of tomorrow, 
with muscular hams, small jowls, and little fat cover, won't de- 
serve such a comparison. 


Move Over, Milky Way— 
Our Cows Are Stars Too 

By R. P. Niedermeier, G. Bohstedt, and C. A. Baumann 

Today's dairy cow is a fantastic producer. Like all mammals, 
a cow gives milk because she has offspring and must feed 
it. Since milk is such a nutritious food, she has been de- 
veloped as a milk producer and today the average cow not only 
feeds her calf but also provides milk and dairy products for 19 
people. Our Nation's 11% million milk cows annually produce 
over 115 billion pounds of milk, thus providing 253 quarts for 
every person in the United States. 

In 1975, Mowry Prince Corinne, a registered 9% -year-old 
Holstein cow owned by Mowry Farms, Roaring Springs, Pa., 
completed the highest milk record ever produced in a single 
lactation by a cow of any breed. In 365 days she produced 50,759 
pounds of milk. On her highest test day she produced 180.4 
pounds of milk! In a single lactation she produced 23,609 quarts 
— a year's milk for 64 U.S. families. This new record dramatically 
demonstrates how the dairy cow has been developed as a producer 
of human food. 

The oldest written records of man show that dairying was 
developed as far back as 6,000 B.C. Through history the cow 
has been used as a beast of burden, an object of worship, and a 
source of meat and milk. 

Dairy cattle were not native to America; the first importation 
came to the United States in 1624. From colonial times to the 
18 50's, dairying was a family cow business. All of the U.S. dairy 
breed associations were formed between 1865 and 1885, thus 
establishing herd books for the registration of cattle. 

The dairy industry has grown to provide nearly 15 percent 

R. P. Niedermeier is Professor of Dairy Science, College of Agricultural and Life 
Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison. G. Bohstedt is Emeritus Professor of Meat 
and Animal Science. C. A. Baumann is Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry. 


Left, an oldtime cream separator, usually turned by a husky farm boy with 
muscle-power to spare. Right, modern cream separators are in foreground at 
this dairy processing plant. 

of the total farm income in the United States, and in leading dairy 
States accounts for 50 to 60 percent of farm cash receipts. Add 
the cost of processing, storage, distribution and retailing and this 
agri-business annually represents a $14 billion industry — a big 
change since the first cheese factory was established in Oneida, 
N. Y., in 1851. 

Today's dairy industry is more than ever before concentrated 
in the Great Lakes area. Over half of the nation's milk supply is 
now being produced in the eight States touching the Great Lakes, 
with other major areas being the northeastern United States and 
California. Wisconsin is the leading milk producing State fol- 
lowed by California, New York, and Minnesota. 

Technology for the production and processing of milk is the 
result of many factors. The development of bacteriology begin- 
ning with experiments by the French scientist Louis Pasteur led 
to pasteurization, a process used to destroy harmful bacteria in 
milk. The centrifugal separator invented by DeLaval provided a 
fast, convenient means of mechanically separating milk and 
cream. The Babcock test, perfected by Dr. Babcock in 1890, 
made possible an accurate chemical test for quality that has been 
used for milk payment and production records. 


Holstein cows at Utah State University Dairy Farm. 

Control of possible milk-borne diseases such as tuberculosis was 
essential. A test and slaughter program begun in 1920 has elimi- 
nated this disease from U.S. dairy cattle — the beginning of many 
health control programs that have assured us a safe, healthful milk 

Agricultural research has been and continues to be the key to 
new technology and increased productivity. This began with the 
establishment of Colleges of Agriculture by the Land Grant Act 
of 1862, and the subsequent funding for research in agriculture 
by the Hatch Act of 1887. In 1914, the agricultural extension 
service established by the Smith-Lever Act added the dimension 
of taking information from research farms and laboratories to 
dairymen and processors. 

Extension has likewise provided a means of bringing problems 
from farms and milk plants to the researchers. Agricultural re- 
search in the State and Federal experiment stations is essential if 
we are to continue to increase our output of animal products 
from the limited resources available to feed the growing human 

Adding to a well established heritage of dairying brought by 
immigrants from Europe when this country was settled have been 
inventions; development of sciences such as bacteriology, chem- 
istry, genetics and nutrition; the development of agricultural 
education, research and extension; industrial technology, trans- 
portation, and the development of marketing and promotional or- 


ganizations. These have been important to our dairy industry. 
However, most of the credit is due the modern dairy farmer on 
whose farm the whole process must begin. 

The Darkest Place 

The dairy cow's ability to convert feed energy and protein 
into food is outstanding. As a ruminant she is endowed with the 
ability to thrive on forages such as pasture, hay, and silage. She 
converts fibrous material that people cannot eat into protein- 
rich milk. W. D. Hoard, founder of Hoard's Dairyman, once 
said, "The inside of a cow is the darkest place in the world." The 
more recent science of "ruminology" has helped turn on lights 
inside the rumen or first compartment of the four-compartment 
ruminant stomach. 

The rumen or fermentation vat which holds up to 50 gallons 
in a large cow is the home of billions of bacteria and protozoa that 
digest cellulose, produce many vitamins, and manufacture es- 
sential amino acids or excellent protein for the cow either from 
non-protein nitrogen present in forages or that fed as urea (urea 
is a cheap synthetic chemical) . The ruminant also has the unique 
ability to digest many waste products of the food and feed indus- 
try. By-products from the manufacture of sugar, starch, flour, 
beer and alcohol are efficiently converted to nutritious foods. 

Population pressures have led to suggestions that we shall soon 
become dependent upon plants for our food supply. It is true 
that more people can be fed per acre if cereal grains and protein 
oilseeds are used directly for human food rather than converted 
by animals into products such as milk and meat. The following 
quote from one of the opening paragraphs in an article published 
in the Agriculhiral Science Review, Volume 5, Number 2, "Ru- 
minant Livestock — Their Role in the World Protein Deficit," 
by L. A. Moore, P. A. Putnam, and N. D. Bayley aptly speaks to 
this issue. 

"Although the emphasis on cereal and oilseed proteins has 
some basis, relegating animal agriculture to a passive contribu- 
tion to world food deficits indicates a failure to appreciate the 
full impact of feed inputs into livestock production. 

"We contend that generally accepted concepts regarding the 
efficiency of livestock production in terms of use of available 
resources are erroneous. We contend that because livestock use 
forages and other feeds inedible to humans, the use of limited 
amounts of cereals as livestock feeds can enhance the efficiency 


of producing proteins for humans in terms of total food re- 
source titilization. 

"Furthermore, there are promising research leads, which, if 
exploited, can markedly increase the efficiency with which ani- 
mal proteins can be produced. We also contend that consider- 
ing the world food deficits solely in terms of amounts of protein 
or calories may result in answers which will make only the less 
desired diets available to the 'have nots' and may aggravate the 
serious sociological problems of the world rather than reduce 

About 70 percent of the protein of the average U.S. dairy 
cow is obtained from forages. Recent trends toward heavier 
grain feeding to high-producing dairy cows can be reversed. 

Heavier grain feeding is the result of new technologies which 
have made grains increasingly abundant and relatively cheap. 
But with feed grains and soybeans in world-wide demand, we 
are now experiencing a transition to higher priced corn and soy- 
beans and the importance of forages in dairy cattle feeding will 
almost certainly increase. 

Research has shown that dairy cows can synthesize essential 
amino acids in the rumen from urea. A. I. Virtanen, Nobel Prize 
winning scientist in Finland, demonstrated in 1966 that cows 
on protein-free feed could produce reasonable quantities of milk. 
Today large amounts of urea are used in ruminant feeds, and 
research continues to determine methods to increase the levels of 
urea or other forms of non-protein nitrogen that can be used 
by high-producing cows. 

Research is also being done on the treatment of woody, poor 
quality forages — such as straw and corn stover (stalks and leaves 
after the ears are harvested) — to make the cellulose more avail- 
able for milk production. Through cooperative efforts of sci- 
entists working in forestry research laboratories, wood has been 
treated to enhance its use by ruminants. Wood "molasses" and 
poor quality forage have also been used as a feed energy source. 

Our Need for Milk 

A strong argument for a flourishing dairy industry, even in 
the face of greatly increased population pressure, is the high 
nutritive value of milk to man. High-quality protein, a generous 
supply of nearly all of the vitamins, and a rich source of most 
of the essential minerals make milk the ideal supplementary food. 

It is possible to devise a vegetarian diet adequate in protein, 


but it is very much easier to do so with milk in the diet. With- 
out milk it is possible, but relatively difficult, to concoct a hu- 
man diet adequate in calcium. With a reasonable amount of 
milk in the diet, calcium needs are usually met. Almost auto- 
matically milk contains satisfactory amounts of the fat-soluble 
vitamins, including vitamin D if the milk is fortified, and of the 
water-soluble vitamins. 

Since neither most homemakers nor hardly any of us who eat 
in restaurants are professional dietitians, private attempts at de- 
vising diets low in calories, for example, can lead to inadequate 
intakes of dietary essentials. But with milk and meat in the diet, 
our nutritional needs are much more likely to be met. 

Are We Producing Enough? 

Nationwide, 8 5 percent of all dairy farmers have gone out of 
business since 1950. Frequently two or more smaller farms were 
merged so that the acreage devoted to dairy farming and number 
of cows was not correspondingly reduced. During this period, 
milk cow numbers declined 47 percent. 

In these same years, milk yields per cow doubled. The average 
U.S. cow produced 5,314 pounds of milk in 1950 versus 10,291 
pounds in 1974. This made it possible to maintain total milk pro- 
duction despite the drastic decline in farm and cow numbers. 

Milk yields per cow have increased as a result of improved 
feeding, improved genetic ability, and better environmental con- 
ditions. Space permits citing only a few research findings, with 
most emphasis on nutrition, that provided the technology for 
modern milk production. A similar story could be told for re- 
search contributions that led to artificial insemination of dairy 
cattle, sire and cow selection programs, and improved manage- 
ment procedures. 

However, a rapidly increasing human population since 1950 
coupled with decreasing cow numbers means that today in the 
United States there is about one cow for 19 people as compared 
to one cow for 7 people in 1950. Even with the doubling of pro- 
duction per cow, the population increase has reduced the avail- 
able milk supply from 775 pounds per person in 1950 to only 
545 pounds today. A critical point has been reached in the supply 
of milk in the United States to assure adequate levels of nutrition 
since milk and milk products contribute so importantly to the 
Nation's food supply. 


Guernsey heifers from an outstanding registered herd in Missouri. 

At the beginning of the 1800's, little was known about the 
chemistry or physiology of plants and animals. A farmer would 
feed his animals hay and grain, or their equivalents, without be- 
ing aware of the chemical elements or compounds in them that 
nourished the animals. 

With the march of science and technology and the develop- 
ment of an appreciation of basic aspects of nutrition, feeding 
standards were advanced. These later standards were based on 
the chemical content of feeds, primarily the protein, carbo- 
hydrates and fat in feeds, but the total instead of the digestible 
basis was still used. It became apparent that there was a need for 
more information than the chemical content of feeds. 

In 1864 in Germany, Dr. Emil von Wolff presented the first 
table of feeding standards based on digestible nutrients rather 
than total nutrients. For every one unit of digestible protein there 
were to be from 6 to 9 or 10 units of digestible carbohydrates 


Truck-mounted metering system for farm bulk milk was developed at Penn 
State, and is said to be first of its kind to commercially measure milk. Such 
meters are expected eventually to replace present use of calibrated gage rods 
immersed in milk. 

and fat equivalent. The ratio of digestible protein to digestible 
energy depends on the particular animal and purpose for which 
it was fed. 

The Wolff standards were first brought to this side of the 
Atlantic in 1874 by W. A. Atwater. In 1880, H. P. Armsby of 
Pennsylvania State College published a manual on cattle feed- 
ing, based on Wolff's work. Subsequently, Armsby refined these 
feeding standards with the concept of net energy, essentially re- 
flecting the nutritionally depressing effect of fiber or cellulose in 
feeds. The productive value of a feed or ration varied inversely 
with the amount of fiber in it. 

Despite the logic of balancing rations by digestible protein in 
relation to kilocalories or megacalories of net energy, this system 
was not widely used. By far the most prevalent system during 
the past century has been by the Wolff -Lehmann standard or its 
modification by F. B. Morrison. This system is based on digestible 
protein in proportion to digestible non-protein organic nutrients, 
the so-called nutritive ratio. This may be because of readily 
understood weighable amounts of nutrients instead of the seem- 
ingly abstract concept of calories that do not register on a scale. 

During the early part of the past 100 years, there was a fairly 


Left, Colorado youngster enjoys a cone. Right, a South Carolina dairyman. 

general appreciation of the need for certain minerals by farm 
animals, such as salt (even the ancients found it indispensable) , 
calcium and phosphorus to avoid rickets, iodine to prevent ex- 
ophthalmic goiter, and iron and copper for suckling pigs to avoid 
anemia. The need for other minerals was still largely unknown. 

Continuing research revealed the importance of supplementing 
farm rations with one or the other additional major minerals, and 
particularly with a still larger number of the minor or trace 
minerals. Mineral supplement needs varied with soil and climatic 
or management conditions. 

But feeding standards at the time did not specify either kinds 
or amounts of minerals to use, nor so-called accessory factors, 
later called vitamins. It was years before some of these micro- 
nutrients became farm or household words, as being essential for 
man and beast. 

In 1906, F. G. Hopkins stated: "No animal can live upon a 
mixture of pure protein, fat, and carbohydrate." 

At the University of Wisconsin, Stephen Moulton Babcock 
had even before the turn of the century doubted the nutritional 
adequacy of feeding standards then in vogue. There were princi- 
ples he felt that were not covered by their specifications. 

In 1906, as an approach to the problem, he was instrumental in 
setting up an experiment with four groups of young dairy hei- 
fers, growing into milking cows. Each of three groups was fed 
a ration from a single plant source, the corn, oats or wheat plant. 
The fourth lot was fed a mixture of all three cereals. In each 


case, the forage part was fed along with the grain or concen- 
trate part of the plant, in this way satisfying the current require- 
ments for a "balanced ration". 

Salt and, of course, water were allowed free choice. 

During two gestation and lactation periods, striking contrasts 
showed up among the groups. Cows on the corn ration were sleek 
and fine, the quality of their calves and quantity of milk pro- 
duced normal or as expected. Those on the wheat ration were 
in both respects inferior, even disastrous. Performances on the oat 
and mixed rations were intermediate between those on corn and 
wheat. The gross chemical analyses for protein, carbohydrate 
and fat of all rations had been closely identical. 

Why then the differences in performance? A ready answer at 
the time was not available. The experiments themselves had been 
carried out by Hart and Humphrey, with the cooperation of 
McCollum and Steenbock. Each of these men was destined to 
have a distiguished career in nutritional science and to spend a 
very long and very productive life studying problems that were 
foreshadowed by the single grain experiment. 

The list of their subsequent accomplishments (by no means 
complete) includes: 

• The use of small animals, particularly rats, as a model for 
determining the nutritional requirements of animals in general — 
including man 

• The recognition of fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins 

• The separation of vitamins A and D 

• The identification of carotene as the source of vitamin A 
activity of plants 

• The discovery that vitamin D can be produced by irradiat- 
ing foodstuffs 

• The discovery that copper is a dietary essential 

To these must be added fundamental studies on most of the 
known vitamins and essential minerals, and on fats and proteins, 
as well as the systematic application of the newer findings (as 
they became available) to the better production of farm animals. 
Nearly all of this subsequent work was done within the frame- 
work of a College of Agriculture and the Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station system. 

Of course, many of the newer nutrients proved to be as im- 
portant to man as to the experimental or farm animals, and the 
value of basic nutritional research thus was established beyond all 


A Fish Story Pans Out, 
and World is Better Fed 

By E. W. Shell 

This story had its beginning back in 1927 when a group of 
faculty members at Auburn University organized a fish- 
ing club, using a lake that provided the town water supply. 
Fishing wasn't good so they decided to build their own lake that 
they could stock and manage. Yet with use of the best informa- 
tion available, the result was one of the poorest fishing holes they 
had ever fished. 

What is unusual is that in this group were several Alabama 
Agricultural Experiment Station scientists who believed that re- 
search could provide the information needed to control the pond 
environment through management. 

As the chapters unfold the story emerges from that of almost 
complete failure to one of the great success stories in the develop- 
ment of fisheries as a means of recreation, relaxation, protein food 
for farm and urban people in the depression years, and in our 
modern day the feeding of millions in the underdeveloped coun- 
tries of the world. 

An entomologist, a plant physiologist, and a soil chemist started 
it all when they developed a research project for fishery research 
and presented it to their director. The justification described a 
vision of f armscapes where each farm could have a fish pond — a 
place where the family could enjoy "healthful exercise in the 
open air" and "provide a welcome addition to the family menu" 
that all too often was sadly lacking in fresh meat in the early 

The project leaders were an unlikely group to begin aquacul- 
ture research, and the one who was to emerge as the leader was 

E. W. Shell is Head of the Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures and 
Director of the International Center of Aquacultures, Agricultural Experiment Station, 
Auburn University, Auburn, Ala. 


the entomologist who had been employed to work with pecan 
insects. His name was H. S. Swingle, a name that became known 
around the world as the leader of scientific aquaculture. The 
plant physiologist was E. V. Smith, who later became Dean of 
Auburn's School of Agriculture and Director of the State Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station. The soil chemist, G. D. Scarseth, 
later became Director of Research for the American Farm Bureau 

Thus the story began but other names were soon added. Names 
like Lawrence and Prather became part of an ever expanding 
team dedicated to carry out the vision not only in Alabama but 
across the nation and around the world. 

Their vision has become reality. When Swingle and Smith be- 
gan their work in 1934 there were an estimated 20,000 man-made 
ponds in the United States. In 1969 there were an estimated 2.2 
million. The Bureau of Sport Fisheries in 1970 estimated that 7.7 
million fishermen spent 80 million days fishing in farm ponds — 
26 percent of all fishermen fishing. The majority of the ponds 
were managed using techniques developed by Swingle and his 
fellow workers at Auburn in the late thirties. 

There were practically no fish farms in the 1930's. In 1971 
there were 43,000 acres alone of ponds containing catfish. More 
than 38 million pounds of catfish with an on-the-farm value of 
over $14 million were harvested. A large percentage of those fish 
were produced using the techniques developed by this team at 

The Auburn scientists built their first pond in the early 1930's. 
In 1934, construction of 21 experimental ponds was completed 
and research was underway. Each year since, the pond research 
facility has been enlarged until it is now the largest warm-water 
aquaculture experiment station in the world. 

The aquacultural pioneers approached the problems of learn- 
ing to manage small ponds in much the same way that an agricul- 
tural scientist might study problems related to corn or cotton 
production — except that they ran experiments in small earthen 
ponds rather than field plots. 

Fish Give the Answers 

Fishery scientists of that day were largely naturalists who 
learned nature's secrets by observing fish in natural ponds and 
streams. Swingle and the group of scientists working with him 


Top, plastic ponds at Auburn, used for 
research work today. Left, H. S. 
Swingle checking on one of his last lab 
projects. Above, mule teams haul in 
soil to form dam for one of Auburn's 
early sport fishing ponds. 

learned nature's secrets by asking the fish direct questions by com- 
paring one treatment with another. 

Earlier pond and lake management work had demonstrated in 
both Europe and the United States that fish production in ponds 
could be increased by adding organic and/or inorganic fertilizers 
to the water. 

Largemouth bass, crappie, bullheads, and bluegills were being 
produced in state and Federal fish hatcheries and were being 
stocked in ponds and streams throughout this county. But no one 
had learned the right number of fish to stock, or the best time to 
stock them. And no one had found how to use fertilizer correctly 
to increase production in fishing ponds. It remained for the 
Auburn group to "put it all together." 

In the first experiments the group evaluated a number of spe- 
cies of fish from local streams for their adaptability to life in 


ponds, and studied the effects of various types of inorganic and 
organic fertilizers on the growth of natural fish food in ponds. 

Results pointed to the bluegill sunfish as an obvious choice for 
one of the species that should be included in ponds, and revealed 
that the amount of natural food rather than the number of fish 
was the primary factor limiting the production of fish in ponds. 
From other experiments the group learned that bluegill produce 
too many young fish in a pond and without some form of popula- 
tion control, the number of bluegill quickly outstrip their food 

Prior to Swingle's work, most instructions on pond manage- 
ment warned against stocking largemouth black bass or crappie 
in ponds with other fish because these two kinds were "fish eaters" 
and were expected to eat all the other fish in the pond. After 
much discussion, the Auburn scientists decided a "fish eater" 
was exactly what was needed, so they began work to determine 
the proper number of "fish eaters" to include in the pond. These 
experiments quickly led them to discard the crappie because it 
simply didn't eat enough bluegills. But the largemouth bass did. 

Experiments on pond fertilization accompanying the fish man- 
agement research proved equally productive. Work conducted at 
Auburn demonstrated that nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium 
increased the amount of algae, microscopic green plants, in the 
water. Through experiments begun in 1936, the Auburn group 
demonstrated that production of both algae and fish was in- 
creased by pond fertilization. 

Unfertilized ponds contained 100 to 200 pounds of fish per 
acre. But with the addition of a fertilizer, weight of fish in the 
pond could be increased to a high of 5 80 pounds per acre. By 
193 8 the Auburn group had determined a ratio of nitrogen to 
phosphorus to potassium that was best for fish production. This 
fertilizer ratio was soon adopted nationwide. 

Catfish farm in Texas. 



^^^^^^^S[ < r 

tm ~jr a« 


j m. 

.. ...^M ^H 

V v- 

— -*" 5| 

Pond production management begins with proper location, de- 
sign, and construction. Swingle and his group developed a system 
of construction and watershed management that used rainwater 
to fullest advantage. They constructed ponds in a "stair-steps" 
fashion so that water seeping through the soil from an upland 
pond would not be lost but captured behind a dam in a pond 
below. This assures maximum use of available water. 

Getting the Word Out 

Swingle believed very strongly that an experiment station sci- 
entist had a responsibility to let others know what he had learned. 
Beginning in 1936 with his first article, "Fish Ponds of Alabama," 
scientific and popular articles and experiment station publica- 
tions on management of farm ponds attracted considerable in- 
terest among fishery managers across the country. 

News of the experiments at Auburn spread rapidly. Soon pond 
owners from all over Alabama were asking Swingle to come try 
his ideas. He chose a number of larger ponds in widely separated 
areas of the State. He succeeded in virtually every case in improv- 
ing the fishing in those "demonstration" ponds. The success stor- 
ies quickly spread across the South. 

Swingle was at his best when using an improvised flannel 
board technique with a group beside a fish pond, or at a seminar 
with a group of fellow fishery scientists. 

In a short period of approximately six years (1934-40) the 
fishery group at Auburn developed a system that ultimately 
would provide millions of hours of recreation for both rural and 
urban people, and literally tons of high quality protein food as 
well. Less than 1 years after the first experiment was conducted, 
the Auburn method was being widely used throughout the 
United States. 

Malaria was an important disease in the South in the late thir- 
ties. State health departments noted the increase in the number 
of ponds in rural areas. Swingle demonstrated that the mos- 
quitoes which carried the disease were absent from well fertilized 
ponds that were free of marginal weeds and trash. 

Swingle realized that an increase in the number of fishing holes 
would increase the number of fishermen, so he saw the need for 
educating pond owners on how to raise bait. In 1940 work was 
begun at Auburn producing red worms for bluegill and golden 
shiners for bass and crappie. Station publications written on these 
types of bait production are still in great demand today. 


More than 38 million pounds of chan- 
nel catfish were harvested in 1973. 
Many of these fish were processed for 
food; others were stocked in "catch- 
out" ponds near large cities. Catfish 
displayed above is from an experi- 
ment on selective breeding at Auburn. 

Some of the early experimental work on feeding fish was begun 
in 1947 when he used poultry and turkey laying mash to feed 
bluegill in a pond stocked with largemouth bass and bluegill. In 
1948 he began experiments on feeding carp. That same year ex- 
periments were begun with various feed and grains, as well as 
mixed feed (cottonseed meal, soybean meal, and dry skim milk 
combined into a feed for bluegill) . 

The decision to. intensify his research efforts in fish farming was 
doubtlessly affected by a trip Swingle had made in 1953 through 
the western part of the United States to study the commercial 
rainbow trout industry. As a result Swingle spent years studying 
how to feed fish as livestock are fed. 

Channel catfish culture actually began in the mid-1930's when 
it was found possible to get them to spawn in ponds. A few 
State and Federal fish hatcheries produced these fish through the 
years, primarily for stocking in streams and lakes, but little 
effort was directed toward learning to culture them for food. 

Few controlled experiments were conducted on channel cat- 
fish farming methods until Swingle began his work in 1949. In 
1959, he described procedures for growing channel catfish for 
food that were to become the basis for much of the channel cat- 
fish industry as it is known today. 


Rhode Island scientists are helping Puerto Rico fisherman, top left, to improve 
their techniques. Top right, two graduate students from Philippines check chan- 
nel catfish at Auburn. Above, pond cultivation of fish in Liberia is benefiting 
from Auburn expertise. AID helps finance all these activities. 

Sporting Proposition 

Members of the Auburn group felt that catfish would also 
make a good sport fish. After producing a large crop of fish in a 
pond with the use of feeding, they allowed fishermen to harvest 
them with hook and line. 

This research led to development of a sizable sport fish recrea- 
tion industry. Fishout pond operators purchase large channel cat- 
fish from the fish farmer. The fish are stocked into ponds and 
fishermen are charged for the fish they catch. This type of fish- 
out operation has become very popular, especially around urban 
centers in the Midwest where relatively little natural fishing is 

Through the years, research on catfish farming has been in- 
tensified at Auburn to cover virtually all facets (breeding, pro- 
duction, nutrition, diseases, marketing, and economics) of this 
promising aquacultural crop. 

The Auburn success story in aquaculture quickly spread 
across the State, the region, and the country in the late 1930's and 
early 1940's and it soon spread to other nations as well. In 1943 


a student from Mexico came to study with Swingle. After "World 
War II students and research workers began to come from many 
parts of the world to study the methods of water farming de- 
veloped at Auburn. 

Those students that came from the countries of South and 
Central America, Asia, and the Near East were not interested in 
production of largemouth bass and bluegill for sportfishing. They 
were interested in producing fish for food. In some of their coun- 
tries sportfishing was virtually unheard of. 

Swingle was invited in 1953 to attend an International Con- 
ference on Aquaculture in the Philippines. In 1957, the govern- 
ments of Thailand and Israel requested he visit their countries to 
suggest methods of increasing food fish production. 

Following his first visit to some of the emerging nations of the 
world, Swingle turned over to other Auburn workers his quest 
to find better places to fish and began to search for ways to use 
ponds to feed the world. 

In 1967 the U.S. Agency for International Development con- 
tracted with Auburn University to provide technical assistance 
in aquaculture to developing nations of the world. Swingle was 
Project Director. From 1967 through 1973, he and members 
of his staff visited more than 20 countries — some of them several 
times — to train scientists in producing food fish. 

As a result of these efforts, aquaculture assistance projects were 
initiated in Brazil, Panama, El Salvador, the Philippines, and 
Thailand. Auburn staff members live and work in those countries. 
In recognition of the competence in aquaculture and the facili- 
ties located at Auburn, the university and USAID established an 
International Center for Aquaculture at Auburn in 1970. 
Swingle was named its first director. 

In 1934 the Auburn aquacultural scientists began to look for 
ways to create good fishing holes for Alabama farm families. 
Forty years later they are seeking better ways of providing fish 
for the diets of protein-hungry people around the world. 

Along the way they virtually revolutionized aquaculture for 
fun and profit in the United States, and added a new dimension 
to our understanding of use of the total environment for man's 
benefit. Theirs is truly a unique Agricultural Experiment Sta- 
tion success story — one that began with a fish pond that wouldn't 



The Quiet Revolution 
in the Apple Orchard 

By R. Paul Larsen 

Apples came to America during the earliest colonial days and 
already were the national fruit when the American colonies 
became a united nation. The tasty fruit spread westward 
on the new continent even faster than settlers. Apples were 
spread by the explorers and missionaries, and some Indian tribes 
planted them around their villages. 

John Chapman, the legendary Johnny Appleseed, roamed Ohio 
and Indiana during the early 19th Century preaching the gospel 
and planting apples. Marcus Whitman carried apple seeds across 
the continent on horseback in 1836 and planted them at his mis- 
sion near Walla Walla, Wash. A sea captain carried an apple seed 
in his pocket, from England to Fort Vancouver, Wash., in 1826. 
The resulting tree is still producing apples today! 

Nearly every westward-bound wagon train or canal boat car- 
ried apple seeds or nursery trees. Americans simply loved apples. 

But those cherished apples were unattractive, often disease- 
and worm-infested fruits that were available for only a few 
months each fall and winter. Today, we enjoy high quality apples 
36 J days a year. 

What brought about this quiet revolution? It is the result of 
better varieties and strains . . . improved rootstocks . . . develop- 
ment of highly effective, non-toxic fungicides and insecticides . . . 
vastly improved orchard culture ... better fruit handling and 
packaging . . . new storage techniques . . . and processing to pre- 
serve quality and enhance consumer delight. 

While tree numbers have declined from 90 million in 1930 
to less than 30 million now, orchard sophistication has increased 
so dramatically that today more apples are produced on one-third 
the number of trees. 

R. Paul Larsen is superintendent and horticulturist of the Washington State University 
Tree Fruit Research Center at Wenatchee. 


Apples are now produced commercially in nearly 40 States, 
and citizens in all States grow apples for local consumption or 
ornamental enjoyment. Washington, New York, Michigan, Cali- 
fornia, Virginia and Pennsylvania produce nearly two-thirds of 
the total commercial crop of approximately 150 million bushels. 
The industry has an economic impact of more than $1 billion 
annually on the Nation's economy. 

Although I will briefly mention some of the contributions of 
others, this chapter is essentially a highly abbreviated story of the 
contributions of the nation's Agricultural Experiment Stations. 

Low quality, mixed fruits from seedling trees were adequate 
during pioneer times, because most apples were used for cider. 
But as needs increased for culinary and dessert purposes, better 
trees were singled out for propagation. The major varieties arose 
from thousands tested, and step by step the numbers were re- 
duced until today 10 varieties account for 90 percent of national 
apple production. 

One of the oldest known American varieties was the Roxbury 
Russet, which was growing in Massachusetts about 1649. Two 
varieties that later gained considerable commercial importance 
were the Baldwin, from Massachusetts, and the Rhode Island 
Greening. Both developed from seedling trees discovered about 
1740. Rhode Island Greening is still our Number 10 variety in 
total production. 

All of today's top eight varieties were seedling trees hybridized 
by nature before 1900. 

Delicious was found in 1882 in Iowa. Golden Delicious started 
from a seedling on a mountainside farm in West Virginia before 
1900. Mcintosh was discovered in Ontario, Canada in 1811. 
Rome Beauty sprouted in Ohio in 1816. Jonathan was first noted 
in New York in 1826. York Imperial was found in the early 
1800's in Pennsylvania. Stayman Winesap came from a Winesap 
seed planted in Kansas in 1866. And Winesap had an obscure be- 
ginning in New Jersey before 1800. 

Each has been profoundly affected by research and modern 
orchard technology. For example, without research Mcintosh 
would have remained of questionable value because of apple scab 

Jonathan was an excellent fall apple but couldn't be stored 
due to Jonathan spot disease. York Imperial was declining until 
saved by modern processing. Rome Beauty gained a second life 
when research solved storage scald, a physiological breakdown 


Left, harvesting Golden Delicious 
apples grown on compact trees in 
Idaho. Above, closeup of Delicious 
apples. These two varieties lead 
U.S. production. 

which makes it look as if scalding water had been poured on the 

Blond Partner 

Improved orchard culture, refrigeration, transportation and 
marketing have skyrocketed Delicious and its blond partner, 
Golden Delicious, past the combined production of all other 

None of these varieties is the same as when discovered. They 
have been improved through science and nature. Bud sports 
(mutations) have given each variety a cosmetic facelift of 
brighter and better color than the original. 

None has benefited more than Delicious, originally a heavily 
striped and often dull, light red apple. Over 100 "super red" 
mutations of Delicious have been identified. Several are compact, 
spur-type trees which bear earlier and heavier than the old De- 

The great popularity of Delicious might have declined had 
only the common Delicious remained. But because of its original 


fine qualities, fortunate mutations and improvements from re- 
search, Delicious now accounts for one-third of all apples pro- 
duced in the United States. 

Cortland is the only variety in the U.S. "top 10" that resulted 
from a controlled breeding program. It originated at the New 
York Agricultural Experiment Station at Geneva, from a cross 
made in 1898. It was introduced to the industry in 1915. 

Apple breeding programs were started about 1895 and have 
been conducted by at least 12 State Experiment Stations. Prob- 
ably the most prolific has been New York, which introduced 52 
varieties between 1914 and 1970, a number of which have been 
widely planted. Other important varieties have been developed 
by experiment stations in Ohio, Idaho, Minnesota, Indiana, Il- 
linois, New Jersey and by the U.S. Department of Agriculture 

Many of these introductions have certain desirable and unique 
qualities, but the present major varieties probably will continue 
to dominate the national apple industry. 

There are several reasons for this. The progeny of a new cross 
requires 30 to 40 years for evaluation and commercial accept- 
ance. Unlike oranges, bananas, peaches and most other fruits, 
apples are sold as distinctive varieties. 

"Cutting In" Not Easy 

Thus a newcomer has great difficulty "cutting in" no matter 
how fine it may be. But experiment station research has greatly 
enhanced the productivity and quality of our present varieties 
through numerous technological advances. 

Since apple varieties do not "come true" from seed, a bud or 
piece of shoot from a tree of the original variety is grafted onto a 
small tree, known as a rootstock. The rootstock has a major effect 
on the ultimate tree size, but it has no effect on the size, character 
or quality of the apples. 

Until recently, most varieties were propagated on seedling 
stocks. The trees became large, up to 30 feet tall with branches 
spreading 40 feet. Because of their size, only a limited number 
could be planted on each acre, and individual trees often didn't 
bear enough fruit to pay production costs until they were eight 
or ten years old. These types of trees dominated commercial 
American apple orchards until the 1960's. 

Throughout orchard history, particularly in Europe, there 
has been much interest in rootstocks which would make smaller 


trees. These are known as dwarfing rootstocks. Beginning in 1912, 
the East Mailing Research Station in Kent, England, collected 
and catalogued a series of best rootstocks ranging from very 
dwarf to standard size trees. These were named EM, after East 

Dwarfs Taking Over 

In 1928, the New York State Experiment Station at Geneva 
obtained a complete collection of EM rootstocks and began an 
extensive study on propagation, compatibility of varieties, tree 
size and fruitfulness. The Geneva station distributed over 160,- 
000 dwarfing rootstocks and dwarf trees to individuals and ex- 
periment stations in 36 states and Canada between 1938 and 
1945. These distributions had much to do with furthering the 
development of dwarf fruit trees in America. 

Also, in the 1930's, the East Mailing Research Station released 
hybrid rootstocks that had been developed for insect resistance, 
better root anchorage, early fruiting and greater production. 
Additional research programs with these stocks were developed in 
Michigan, Oregon, Massachusetts, Virginia, Pennsylvania and 
several other States. 

The smaller, semi-dwarf trees became popular with American 
orchardists because they can be planted close together — as many 
as 200 to 300 trees to an acre — compared with only 50 to 100 
trees per acre for full size trees on standard spacings. The smaller 
trees also are easier to manage, yet produce more and better 
quality fruit per acre. Full bearing can be reached in 6 to 8 years 
after planting, compared to 12 to 15 years (or more) for stand- 
ard trees. 

Although much research is still needed, high density orchards 
developed through research have resulted in a new apple industry 
which will be highly valuable to the American apple producer 
and even more so to the consumer. 

Until after World War II, U.S. apple production was charac- 
terized by wild fluctuations in annual production. During the 
1930's and '40's it was not unusual to have 50 percent varia- 
tions in crop size. During the past decade the maximum variation 
between crops has been only 20 percent. 

One of the most important reasons for this stabilization was 
the perfecting of chemicals which reduce excessive crop loads, 
enhance annual fruit production, protect the trees from disease 


^■w I "*"■ 

J& ■'" J 

Top, high density orchard in Washington State. Above left, Texas horticulturist 
shows apple grower how young trees are trained for good production. Above 
right, over-the-row harvester developed at Penn State for use in thin-wall, 
trellis, hedgerow orchards. Harvester shakes, catches and collects apples in 
a bulk bin. 

and insect damage, and promote good tree health by providing 
proper nutrients and reducing weed competition. 

In its native state, an apple tree struggles to stay alive and at 
the same time to regenerate its kind through the production of 
seeds (fruit) . An enormous amount of energy is required each 
growing season to produce fruit, grow new leaves, expand shoots 
and branches, develop a stronger root system, and build up food 
reserves for a long winter. At the same time the tree is trying to 
produce a new set of fruit buds for the next year. 

If most of its energies are consumed in producing fruit, the 


tree simply cannot manufacture buds for another year's crop — 
so it bears a crop one year and develops a fruit bud system during 
the second year. 

Chemical Thinning 

In the 1940's, following years of research with numerous 
types of chemicals, horticulturists in several experiment sta- 
tions (including Indiana, Missouri^ New York, Michigan, Mas- 
sachusetts and Maryland, and USD A) found that hormone-type 
chemicals such as naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) would thin 
apples and greatly improve annual bearing. 

These findings led to experiments in all apple producing areas 
of America and resulted in industry-wide use of chemical thin- 
ning, which has contributed more than any single factor to 
leveling out annual production in most orchards. 

Hormone chemicals also are used to prevent preharvest drop 
of apples in the fall, promote earlier flowering and fruiting, con- 
trol excessive growth of young trees, enhance fruit color develop- 
ment, and prolong storage life. 

Since the first apple tree was cultivated, diseases and insects 
have been a constant plague. Over 80 major apple disease and 
insect problems have been researched at experiment stations. 
Probably the most troublesome of all pests since the earliest days 
of orcharding has been the proverbial apple worm — properly 
known as the codling moth. 

Two or more generations of this moth, which looks like the 
common clothes moth, lay tiny yellow eggs on or near the apple 
fruits. Larvae (worms) from these eggs eat into the apples, 
causing the young fruits of early summer to drop, while later 
brood larvae are often in the mature fruits when they are picked. 

Because the damage from this insect was so severe, codling 
moth research dominated apple investigations in nearly all experi- 
ment stations before and after the turn of the century. En- 
tomology and horticulture journals contain thousands of entries 
on control methods, problems of spray residues, and effects of 
the sprays on fruit and trees. 

"Dynamite Spray" 

During the 1930's, over 90 percent of all the apple trees in 
Washington's experimental orchards at Wenatchee were used in 
some phase of codling moth control. Forty different materials 


Georgia plant pathologist researching apple diseases. 

and many mixtures were tried in the control program, most with 
poor results, and several caused serious injury to the trees. One 
widely used mixture, called "dynamite spray", contained herring 
oil and kerosene. 

Following World War II, a whole new spectrum of organic 
chemicals (such as DDT) dramatically improved pest control in 
apple orchards, and they seldom resulted in damage to the trees. 
Codling moth control has been further improved with such in- 
secticides as guthion (DDT is no longer used in apple orchards) . 


Biological control of the codling moth has not been of prac- 
tical value. 

However, recent progress on control by a sterility method 
raises possibilities that codling moth sprays may be reduced in 
the future. 

The codling moth, like many other insects, is a very adaptable 
creature. Because of its ability to adjust to changing conditions, 
including the presence of some insecticides the problem of con- 
trolling it will never be permanently solved. Continuing research 
is essential. 

A recent dramatic example of research success was control of 
injurious mites of apples by predator mites and insects. This highly 
successful program resulted from 10 years of intensive research 
by Washington State University, as well as other experiment sta- 
tions. It includes a systematic and carefully timed use of pesticides 
to control such insects as the codling moth without killing the 
friendly mite predators. 

Mite control has been greatly improved while total pesticide 
usage has been markedly reduced. 

Many other advances of the chemical age have been as im- 
portant as insect control — including reducing disease damage, 
prescribed control of essential nutrients, and chemical control of 

The disasters of deluges of ripe fruit in the fall, after-harvest 
diseases, and physiological breakdowns have gradually yielded to 
science. Fresh apples are now available in nearly all U.S. super- 
markets during every week of the year and consumers no longer 
wait anxiously for apple harvest. Controlled atmosphere stor- 
age has been more responsible than any other technological ad- 
vance for the year-around availability of crisp, harvest-quality 

Hibernating Like Bears 

Controlled atmosphere storage greatly reduces a process known 
as respiration by putting the apples into a deep sleep, much as 
bears hibernate. Apples and all living things carry on respiration. 
Sugars are oxidized (burned) in the presence of oxygen while 
carbon dioxide, water vapor and heat are produced. 

Respiration gradually diminishes crispness, flavor and other 
qualities in apples. The respiration rate can be reduced by lower- 
ing the temperature, reducing the amount of oxygen, or increas- 
ing the normal amount of carbon dioxide. 


Controlled atmosphere storage includes all three of these. The 
apples are put in refrigerated, gas-tight rooms where oxygen is 
maintained at much lower than normal levels, while carbon 
dioxide levels are higher than normal. 

Controlled atmosphere research began in England in the 1920's, 
but was perfected and developed into full commercial practice 
in the experiment stations of the United States and Canada. 

Over the years, scientists at Cornell University in New York 
conducted much basic and developmental work in controlled 
atmosphere storage. Cornell students became research leaders 
in Washington, Michigan, Virginia and other States. 

These and other researchers refined controlled atmosphere stor- 
age throughout the United States into a workable and useable 
commercial practice for the entire apple industry. 

Prior to controlled atmosphere storage, the great bulk of the 
U.S. fresh apple crop had to be marketed between harvest time 
in the fall and mid-winter or early spring. The late fall and 
winter markets were usually chaotic and glutted. 

The United States now has nearly 30 million bushels of con- 
trolled atmosphere storage capacity. This means that about 40 
percent of all fresh market apples can be held under ideal stor- 
age conditions until late winter, spring or summer — ensuring the 
year-around apple habit of the American consumer. 

But all apples are not eaten fresh. Nearly half of all apples 
grown are commercially processed. Juice, sauce, slices, pie mixes, 
frozen concentrate and baby food are processed to provide the 
greatest possible abundance of low cost apple products. 

Concentrate Popular 

Many new processes and improved products have been de- 
veloped in experiment stations and USDA laboratories. One 
example, concentrated apple juice, which was developed by 
USDA scientists, has become a popular commodity and is used 
in jams, jellies and "pop wines." 

As apple growing and marketing becomes increasingly com- 
plicated, sophisticated and expensive, researchers must find ways 
to increase mastery over the tree and its environment. This will 
be done by continually pushing back the frontiers of understand- 
ing and technology of manipulation of pests and predators, regu- 
lations of growth and fruiting, protection of trees and fruits 
from freeze injury, complete control of nutrition and moisture, 
and mechanization of harvesting and handling. 


Many hopes for the future are already progressing in experi- 
ment station laboratories and orchards. For example: 

Disease organisms, such as scab, may be rendered in- 
operative by genetic or biochemical mutations. 

Rootstocks which are cold hardy and resistant to soil 
diseases are being developed. 

Insecticide usage will be reduced through traps con- 
taining female scent attractants (pheromones) which 
will attract and trap male insects before they can mate. 

Antifreeze chemicals will make apple trees and fruit 
buds less subject to cold injury. 

Growth regulating chemicals will insure annual 
fruiting of mature trees as well as speed up fruit bearing 
of young trees. 

Harvest maturity, fruit color and market life will 
be enhanced by chemicals superior to any in use today. 

Fresh apples will be harvested, handled, stored, pack- 
aged and transported to the consumer without the 
touch of human hands, through the magic of biological, 
engineering and electronic science. 

Low pressure (hypobaric) storage may be the next 
major step in the constant search to improve apple 
quality for the consumer. 

This is what apple research is all about: assurance that ours 
and future generations will be able to continue eating that king 
fruit — the apple. 


Consumers El Dorado 
Amid Swaying Palms 

By A. H. Krezdorn 

Most people in the cold and less inviting climates of the 
United States have envisioned warmer, greener lands with 
coconut fronds swaying in a soft breeze and the incense 
of tropical blossoms in the air. The German poet Goethe cap- 
tured the lure of the subtropics well in the following lines: 

Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen bliihn? 



Laub die Gold-Orangen glLihn 

Loosely interpreted, he asked: "Can you envision a land 
where the citrus trees bloom? With golden oranges among dark 
green leaves." Many people have envisioned such lands and have 
gone there to seek their futures. 

Unfortunately, many attracted by exaggerated claims of for- 
tunes to be made in subtropical paradises suffered financial disas- 
ter. Even now, oldtimers say, when all alone in a citrus grove on 
a still, warm, winter day, one can hear the rumble of trains 
rushing out of the icy north with loads of "snowbirds." 

These early agricultural adventurers perhaps would better 
have identified themselves with lines from Edgar Allan Poe's de- 
scription of the search for Eldorado, the legendary city of gold. 

Florida citrus groves. One at left is being irrigated. 

Gaily bedight, 

A gallant knight 

In sunshine and in shadow 

Had journeyed long, 

Singing a song, 
In search of Eldorado. 

But he grew old — 

This knight so bold— 

And o'er his heart a shadow 

Fell, as he found 

No spot of ground 

That looked like Eldorado. 

Neither Poe nor those who sought their fortunes in the sub- 
tropics reckoned with the agricultural scientists in the State Ex- 
perment Stations where Ph.D.'s in white coats in the laboratory 
and with dusty shoes in the field materialized dreams of a horti- 
cultural El Dorado. 

The agricultural scientists not only brought profits to growers 
but they placed orange juice on the Nation's tables at a cost as 
low as or lower than soft drinks. They made fresh winter vege- 
tables commonplace, and exotic names such as mangoes, avocados, 
and papayas familiar to many of us. 

A bit of the tropics has been made available to everyone in the 
form of exotic foliage plants and cut flowers shipped in ever 
increasing amounts from the Nation's subtropical areas. 

Success has not come easily. Entirely new technologies were 
necessary, involving pest control, fertilization, irrigation, har- 
vesting, and handling methods. Entomologists, pathologists, soil 
scientists, engineers, plant breeders, and horticulturists all were 
on the team. 

No crop is more closely associated with subtropics than that 
group of brightly colored, nutritious fruit species called citrus. 
Commercial citrus is limited to small subtropical portions of 
Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. But sweet orange produc- 
tion in Florida alone is greater than the Nation's entire apple 

Citrus, brought to the new world by Columbus, soon became 
naturalized on the Florida, peninsula. However, development of 
commercial citrus is a saga of problems and solutions unsurpassed 
in agricultural history. 

Author A. H. Krezdorn is Chairman, Fruit Crops Department, Institute of Food and 
Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville. 


Balloon is released over Cali- 
fornia citrus orchard to carry 
temperature-measuring instru- 
ments aloft. This is part of a 
study of air temperatures in 
and above orchards, to learn 
how much protection growers 
can depend on from wind 
machines like one at right. 

Florida, Texas and California have been rudely battered by 
wintry blasts that occasionally sweep into citrus areas, freezing 
fruit and often damaging trees. Research has pointed the way to 
selection of warm sites and methods to heat the groves. 

Wind Machines 

On calm, cold nights the physics of heat exchange results in 
temperatures near the earth being much colder than those aloft, 
a condition termed a temperature inversion. Research dem- 
onstrated that small fires were better than a few large ones, and 
that warm air aloft could be mixed with colder air nearer the sur- 
face through wind machines. 

Bit by bit, cultural practices were developed which increased 
the hardiness of the trees, and led to warmer groves. They often 
proved the margin of safety on cold nights. 

Researchers showed that groves without weeds and cover 
crops were warmer than groves with them. Trees suffering from 
certain nutritional deficiencies were found to be unusually 
susceptible to cold. Oil sprays applied in late summer to control 
pests induced tenderness to cold, it was learned. And certain root- 
stocks induced more hardiness than others, researchers discovered. 


California researchers at work. Left, studying makeup of a citrus leaf with de- 
vice that vaporizes the sample in an electric arc. By learning what mineral ele- 
ments are in leaf, scientist determines how well the tree is taking up nutrients 
from soil. Right, citrus tree growing in concrete tank containing solutions of 
minerals. Scientist adds measured amount of mineral to solution so effect of 
mineral on tree's health can be learned. 

The deep sandy soils of central Florida are unique in their lack 
of mineral elements. California and Texas also have had many 
problems involving mineral nutrition despite their fertile soils. 
Mineral nutrition research has been so thorough that major nutri- 
tional problems belong to the past. 

Commercial citrus trees are two-parted as the result of budding 
a desired variety onto some other kind of citrus (the rootstock) . 
Florida researchers established the advantages of using rough 
lemon rootstock, which penetrates to depths of over 20 feet, 
on the droughty sands of central Florida. Texas researchers de- 
termined the value of sour orange rootstock in tolerating soil 
diseases and saline water. California research demonstrated 
a closely related citrus relative and hybrids used as rootstocks 
would overcome the problem of replanting on old citrus soils. 

Pest-related problems were myriad and some of the control 
measures established are classics. Citrus canker, introduced from 
Japan into the Gulf Coast area, was completely eliminated from 
the North American continent through measures developed by 
research and carried out by regulatory agencies. 

The Mediterrean fruit fly was accidentally introduced, and 
eliminated through special baits distributed by aircraft. 


Left, growing hundreds of plants in test tubes, California scientist knows ex- 
actly what each tiny plant will look like when mature. Known as tissue culture, 
propagation method consists of selecting precise bits of tissue and growing 
them in carefully formulated nutrient medium. Thousands of plants, all identical 
to parent, get off to disease-free start. Tissue culture is particularly valuable to 
flower growers. Right, asparagus plantlets grown using tissue culture technique. 

Scale insects in California once were controlled by tenting each 
citrus tree and using dangerous cyanide gas to kill the pests. This 
gave way to oil sprays that are safe for both plants and humans. 
In more recent years, researchers introduced tiny wasps which 
virtually eliminated the two most important scale insects from 
the Florida peninsula. California long has used ladybird beetles 
and other biological control measures. 

Virus and virus-like diseases have plagued citrus growers. A 
scientist in California recently developed a most imaginative 
method of obtaining virus-free buds. Working with the knowl- 
edge that citrus virus diseases were carried only in the vascular 
tissue, the tissue through which water and food moves in the 


plant, he reasoned there would be no viruses in a few cells at the 
growing points of plants. This is a region of cell division where 
there is no vascular tissue. 

He then micro-grafted a tiny piece of the disease free growing 
point onto very small seedlings growing on an artificial medium 
in test tubes. This delicate operation required development of 
surgical skills with which to make the minute graft, and com- 
pletely antiseptic conditions. 

The tiny plants were ultimately transferred into soil where 
they grew and may serve as a source of buds for producing com- 
mercial trees free of bud-transmitted viruses. 

Researchers continuously strive to reduce the use of expensive 
agricultural pesticides, which at times may be environmental 
hazards. Use of biological barriers to prevent the spread of a 
tropical nematode is an example. 

This nematode, a small worm-like creature, is mobile, infesting 
increasingly large areas by moving slowly outward from points of 

Chemical barriers — wide, plant-free strips of periodically fu- 
migated soil around infected areas — were effective but expensive. 

A citrus rootstock was found in which the nematode could not 
live. Researchers reasoned they could contain the nematode in 
small pockets of infection by surrounding infested areas with 
buffer zones of trees on these rootstocks. The experiment failed 
at first because citrus roots from infected and unifected sides grew 
through several rows of the barrier. This was counteracted by 
periodically severing the roots between the buffer trees and the 
infected ones. 

Giant Saws Trim Trees 

Citrus trees are long-lived and grow very large. Trees ulti- 
mately become crowded and decline. Movement of equipment in 
the orchards gets difficult, and harvesting expensive. Large, me- 
chanical pruning equipment consisting of giant saws on rotating 
arms has been developed to ease this problem. Some saws are 
mounted vertically to cut off the sides of trees. In other cases the 
saws are mounted horizontally to cut off tree tops, sometimes slic- 
ing away as much as the top 1 5 feet of the tree. 

These mechanical behemoths moving through a grove with 
gyrating arms and humming circular saws are an impressive 

Even determining when a citrus fruit is mature has required 


Left, to learn effects of smog on citrus trees, California scientists built these 
plastic houses around trees in a commercial orchard. Some trees get ordinary 
air, others get filtered air. Right, Egyptian graduate student in California used 
oat sprouts as test plants to verify finding of new plant hormone in citrus fruit. 
Applying a growth-stimulating chemical or hormone to one side of each tip 
makes that side grow faster, causing sprout to bend over. Sprout on extreme 
right was untreated. 

much research. Grapefruit, for example, can be harvested from 
the same tree from October through June and it is a matter of 
opinion as to when it becomes palatable. 

State laws were established to regulate the time of citrus har- 
vest, based on research which showed a relationship between 
palatability and the levels of juice, sugar and acid in the fruit. 

Consumers long have assumed that sweet oranges have an 
orange color. However, sweet oranges do not color well in warm 
areas, attaining the typical golden color only after cold weather 
has destroyed green pigments in the peel. The change in color 
bears little relation to quality. Researchers ultimately developed 
a means of accelerating the natural process by treating this fruit 
with minute quantities of ethylene gas to destroy the green pig- 
ment and enhance the orange color, without affecting quality. 

Fruit species more tender to cold than citrus — such as man- 
goes, avocados, papayas, guavas and macadamia nuts — have been 
introduced into subtropical areas and some have reached the 
status of commercial crops. The technology of producing these 
crops has not received the benefits of as much research as was 
devoted to citrus. But marked achievements have been attained. 

Ferreting out improved varieties from thousands of chance 
seedlings obtained from various sources has given the United 


States what many regard as the best mangoes and avocados in 
the world. 

The Sexy Papayas 

Papayas have been scientifically studied in Hawaii, where de- 
tails of their complex sexual characteristics were described. This 
unusual species has male, female and bisexual forms and some 
change their sex with the season. The Solo variety, developed in 
Hawaii, is a hermaphroditic type of good shape and quality. 

Fresh, crisp, winter vegetables in dazzling array, are only a 
portion of the fare available throughout the Nation at prices 
which permit a varied, nutritious diet at a comparatively reason- 
able cost. They include radishes, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, 
celery, carrots, beans, tomatoes, peppers, melons and sweet corn. 
The era in which the basic vegetables for winter meals consisted 
of dried beans, canned food and stored Irish potatoes is only a 
distant memory. 

Sweet corn production in the subtropics is a fascinating ex- 
ample of man's ability to produce crops where they were not 
originally adapted. 

The corn earworm once ruined every ear of corn grown in 
subtropical areas. 

Researchers found the earworm could be controlled by care- 
fully applying pesticides. Initial control measures were crude. 
Painstaking research, however, developed chemical control meas- 
ures that are extremely effective, and safe. 

Then a second unsuspected pest, corn blight fungus, threatened 
to reduce the production of sweet corn to a point of unprofit- 
ability. Fungicides were found that would control this disease. 
Moreover, scientists developed a system for determining at any 
point in development of the crop when the fungus has become 
sufficiently severe to affect the yield and quality of corn at har- 
vest. This greatly reduces the spray applications needed. 

A recent exciting breakthrough demonstrates the great poten- 
tial of scientific breeding. Sweet corn must be thrust into cold 
water immediately after harvest to prevent the sugars, which 
make it sweet, from being converted to starch. New varieties are 
being released that do not contain the enzyme which converts 
sugar to starch. This means harvesting and handling procedures 
will be simpler and the consumer will be assured a high quality 

Development of a tomato industry in the subtropics is a no less 


A corn earworm at work. 

intriguing story. The tomato originated in the American tropics 
but superior varieties, not adapted to the tropics and subtropics, 
were developed in temperate zones. Thus, commercial tomato 
production had to be "introduced" from the temperature zones 
and new varieties and cultural practices developed for the sub- 

Plant pathologists and entomologists developed chemical con- 
trol measures for the army of pests that faced subtropical tomato 
producers, but the researcher is never satisfied with expensive 
chemical control. Plant breeders gradually have made impres- 
sive changes in pest resistance and climatic adaptability through 
plant breeding. 

The Southern Tomato Exchange Program (STEP) is one of 
the best examples of cooperative programs between state and 
Federal research organizations. Tomato breeders of these organ- 
izations have voluntarily organized a cooperative research effort 
in which breeding lines are exchanged and a regional research 
program in effect conducted. This exchange of data has greatly 
accelerated improvement of tomato varieties. 

Innovative changes in cultural practices based on research 
also have helped maintain productive, competitive tomato indus- 
tries in subtropical regions. 

Good examples are the use of plastic mulch to prevent loss of 
fertilizers and to control weeds, and the use of plug-mix seedlings. 
The latter refers to incorporating crop seeds and water into a 
scientifically blended growing medium. This is then precision- 
placed in the field with machines. Thousands of acres of tomatoes 
and peppers now are planted that way. 

Ornamental horticulture is the new boy on the block. The 
United States is well into an urban age and ornamental horticul- 
ture is taking its rightful place. 


The therapeutic value of working with plants is well estab- 
lished. Mankind's need to associate with growing things por- 
tends an increasing use of plant material in the home, de- 
velopment of parks and recreational areas, and an increased 
emphasis on landscaping. 

Production of foliage plants has increased astonishingly in the 
past decade, and the need to ship these plants to distant markets 
has brought the use of lightweight potting mixes. 

Growers initially threw together various mixes made from 
wood shavings, peat moss, and various other inert materials. 
These materials were mixed with superphosphate, and other fer- 
tilizer elements were added as needed. The mixture worked well 
for many plants but some species developed tipburn and dead 
areas in the leaves that made them unsightly. 

Sensitivity to Fluorine 

Scientific detective work has demonstrated that some plants 
are extremely sensitive to fluorine, showing varying symptoms at 
concentrations as low as .01 parts per million (ppm) in the root- 
ing mixture. Peat moss was found commonly to contain 4 ppm 
of fluorine, and superphosphate from 10,000 ppm to 20,000 ppm 
of fluorine. 

Addition of calcium counteracted the effect of the fluorine 
in the peat moss but the relatively large concentration of fluorine 
in superphosphate necessitated the use of safer phosphorus 
sources. Also, the housewife is forewarned that drinking water 
that has been fluorinated to prevent tooth decay is unsatisfac- 
tory for watering certain foliage plants. 

Diseases are major problems. Many ornamental plants are prop- 
agated by asexual or vegetative means, such as through the use 
of bulbs or stem cuttings. These procedures have certain ad- 
vantages, but many virus and bacterial diseases are transmitted in 
this manner. Recently caladiums, which are heavily infected 
with virus diseases, have been produced that are virus-free 
These experimental plants have grown astonishingly fast and 
produced larger, more beautiful leaves. 

Decline of field-grown plants when transferred to homes and 
buildings has been an intriguing problem. Researchers have found 
there actually are two problems. 

Some plants grown in full sun will shed many leaves when 
placed in buildings with under 2,000 foot candles of available 
light. Also, plants grown under field conditions are heavily fer- 
tilized because they grow very rapidly and form many leaves. 


Garden fans on vacation trips to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands can 
tour the agricultural station at Dorothea, and buy ornamental plants. Among 
plants available are hibiscus and crotons. You can take plants back to the main- 
land U.S. provided they are free of soil, and have been inspected and certified 
by the USDA office at Charlotte Amalie airport. 

Such plants placed in shade grow less vigorously and use much 
less fertilizer. The excessive fertilizer becomes toxic and damages 
the plant. 

These problems have been corrected by placing the sun-grown 
plants under shade for five to six weeks before shipment and 
by washing out much of the fertilizer with heavy applications of 

Successful breeding and release of varieties of anthuriums in 
Hawaii and gladiola in Florida portend an era of exciting new 
ornamental varieties. 


Grass for Lawns, Golf 

The breeding of new grasses for home lawns and heavily used 
areas such as golf courses is progressing. Floratam, a St. Augustine 
selection developed in Florida, not only has proved resistant to St. 
Augustine — grass decline, called the SAD virus, but to chinch 
bugs as well. It is equal or superior to the common St. Augustine 
grass in its tolerance to downy mildew and gray leaf spot diseases. 

Researchers who develop lawn grasses carefully test them under 
all sorts of conditions to make certain they have no weakness 
which will cause problems not encountered with the grass that 
they replace. 

Despite the litany of successes achieved by State Agricultural 
Experiment Stations, the battle to maintain a productive agricul- 
ture at reasonable cost to the consumer must be intensified. Na- 
ture is harsh, cunning, and never completely dominated. 

Plants, animals, insects, diseases and nematodes continuously 
change through both sexual processes and mutation. Pests may 
suddenly develop ability to attack a plant which was once re- 
sistant to or tolerant of them. Mites and insects may rapidly de- 
velop resistance to pesticides which once offered this control. 

An insect-transmitted disease currently is killing huge num- 
bers of coconut palms in the tropics and also coconut palms used 
in the subtropics as ornamentals. There is evidence the disease is 
spreading to other species of ornamental palms as well. Re- 
searchers are already attacking this problem with their tech- 
nological weapons. 

Mechanically harvesting many crops will become a necessity, 
and this problem is as challenging as any previously faced. 

Assuring the safety and nutritive value of foods used by the 
consumer has been accentuated, and rightfully so, in the last 
decade. Many chemicals formerly used in controlling pests no 
longer are available, and new ones must be carefully screened 
at great expense. 

Urbanization and population increases are taking a toll of the 
best agricultural land. 

On the bright side, scientists now have computers and an im- 
pressive array of new instruments with which to solve the 
mysteries of plants. Banks of knowledge developed over the years 
are at their disposal. Thus, those Ph. D.'s with dusty shoes will 
prevent the subtropical, horticultural El Dorados so painstak- 
ingly produced from becoming ghost towns. 


Grass— the Food Factory 
That Also Fights Drought 

By R. A. Moore and John L. Pates 

Grass. Like the base of your living room carpet, grasslands go 
virtually unnoticed by most of us. Yet grass, perhaps the 
most humble family of the plant world, has served as a 
foundation for the food and fiber needs of this planet. 

Grass, in a year like 1974 when a general drought prevailed 
over much of the Central and Northern Plains, may mean the 
difference between steak on the table, even though the price 
may be higher, and no steak at all. 

"Grass is the forgiveness of Nature — her constant benedic- 
tion. . ." wrote a U.S. Senator from one of the Plains States 
(Kansas) in 1880. Grasses, most of which are close relatives 
of the plants that grow in the green areas of our parks and in 
your own backyard, have been studied by historians and ecol- 
ogists, fought over by farmers and ranchers, and have provided 
inspiration for philosophers and poets. 

To the researcher the grass plant is an awesome and marvelous 
thing. Each contains a factory capable of manufacturing food . . . 
a feat not yet accomplished by man. 

Grassland exists in every State and is important to each. We 
confine our comments to the greater grassland areas of mid- 
America. Picture if you can a line running down the center 
of our continental United States, with the Corn Belt to the 
east and the Great Plains on the west. The overlap areas encom- 
pass these grasslands. 

Some areas are well suited to grass. Some areas also are suited 
to other crops. The grassland acreage expands in a rather pulsat- 
ing fashion, depending on the price of the various crops with 
which grass must compete. When wheat prices soar, the grassland 
acreage shrinks. When the price of an alternate crop drops, the 
grassland acreage grows. Sometimes these former grasslands are 

R. A. Moore is Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, and 
Director of the Experiment Station, South Dakota State University, Brookings. John L. 
Pates is Agricultural Editor, South Dakota State University. 


simply abandoned. It then may take years for the grass to return. 

Fortunately, economics is not the only consideration on which 
the decision to keep land in grass is based. 

As you drive from east to west, notice that the deep black 
soils are usually planted to more intensive crops such as corn, soy- 
beans and grain crops. Tall native grasses such as big bluestem 
and Indiangrass will be familiar grass species in these areas. Here 
settlers plowed under grass and removed trees to clear the land 
for farming in homesteading days. 

Intermediate or medium height grasses — such as little bluestem 
and western wheatgrass — will be found growing on brown and 
chestnut colored soils. This is the beginning of the Plains area. 
Short grasses like gramagrass and buffalograss are natives of the 
semi-arid and arid lands and the lightest colored soils. 

Settlers brought with them crude implements to break the sod 
and till the land. Hardships were common. Drought, fire, severe 
winters all challenged the talents of the farmer. Through trial 
and error, settlers learned what they could do to make the land 

Settlers didn't call this trial and error "research", but that is 
exactly what it was. Today, largely because of more sophisticated 
methods of research, grass is recognized as an important crop. 
Farmers learned that in the more arid parts of the country, grass 
was the one crop you could usually depend on . . . and even that 
needs moisture. 

Little bluestem grass on a 
Texas ranch. 


Dust Bowl Era 

The dust bowl years of the 193 O's demonstrated the folly of 
the plowman and put the need for better methods of soil con- 
servation into much sharper focus for both the researcher and 
the farmer. 

Settlers in the Dakotas, Iowa, and down through Texas and 
Oklahoma who needed clouds filled with rain for their crops 
saw clouds of dust instead. One of the first tasks of researchers at 
experiment stations throughout the Great Plains was to figure 
out ways of turning clouds of dust back to a sea of grass again. 

Fortunately, experiment station researchers had already 
brought some new and soon to be important grass varieties into 
this country. 

At the turn of the century, men like N. E. Hansen of the 
South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station, working on be- 
half of the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) , observed 
something called "crested wheatgrass" at the Valuiki Experiment 
Station located ISO miles north of Stalingrad, Russia. 

He observed that the grass was doing well in a very harsh cli- 
mate, and noted that this might be a very valuable plant to the 
Plains area of America. History proved his observation to be 
prophetic indeed. 

In about 1906 seed was distributed to various States in the 
Great Plains area. But the emphasis on grass research was not yet 
apparent in most parts of the country. The demand was for 

Wheat prices soared. Wheat grows well on grasslands when 
moisture is available. Instead of grasslands being improved, large 
tracts were simply broken up for wheat between 1905 and 1920. 

When the dry years of the 193 O's arrived, the role of grass in 
stablizing the dry Plains became evident. Fortunately, the in- 
troductions of crested wheatgrass made by Hansen and other 
Agricultural Experiment Station researchers had survived. Com- 
mercial seed was actually available by 1929. 

Historians now maintain that no other forage grass filled such 
an important place in our revegetation program. Crested wheat- 
grass, a hearty perennial, could resist drought and withstand weed 
competition. It also made excellent forage for cattle. (A peren- 
nial grass is one that does not have to be seeded every year. ) 

And had it not been for a grass research program conducted 
by the Agricultural Experiment Stations over the years, beef- 
steak might be as rare in the United States as it is in many other 
countries of the world today. 


The real value of crested wheatgrass was realized through the 
work of George Rogler, of the Northern Great Plains Field Sta- 
tion at Mandan, N.D. He understood both plant breeding and 
grass management and developed the superior variety, Nordan. It 
performed well on the abandoned wheat land and produced a 
good yield of high quality seed. 

Rogler, working for USDA's Agricultural Research Service, 
achieved what Hansen had envisioned. This illustrates the kind of 
teamwork that has usually existed between State and Federal 
agricultural research agencies. 

Another example of teamwork between such agencies involves 
the Soil Conservation Service (SCS). This USD A agency has 
been working at the business of grass selection and range improve- 
ment programs since it was established. Joint release programs be- 
tween SCS and Agricultural Experiment Stations exist in a num- 
ber of States and the joint release of a number of grass and shrub 
selections has resulted. 

Since these early beginnings research stations in Minnesota, 
Missouri and many other States have picked up on various aspects 
of grass and grassland improvement research. 

Hansen, although a horticulturist by profession, was a keen 
observer of all types of plant life. He was interested in any plant 
life that looked like it might survive and add to the satisfaction 
of living in the Northern Plains area. 

"Cossack" Alfalfa 

Among the plant specimens he brought back with him from 
Russia was something called "Cossack" alfalfa. He also secured 
"wild" alfalfa plants. Planted in several States, they were all but 
forgotten. War and the need for human food from cereal crops 
replaced interest in plants which would support livestock produc- 

Cossack is still grown on many farms and ranches because it 
tolerates cold weather and some drought. 

Alfalfa and grass make an excellent combination in cropping 
for a number of reasons. Nitrogen, a plant food needed by all 
grasses, is produced naturally by alfalfa and other legume crops. 
When a steer or cow eats too much of a fast growing alfalfa crop, 
however, it frequently becomes a victim of "alfalfa bloat" caused 
from gas that is manufactured from alfalfa as it goes through 
the digestive process. 


Hansen (far left) in Russia collecting various types of plant specimens he 
thought might be useful in Great Plains agriculture. 

The logical solution would be to plant the two crops together. 
However, growth habits of most grass and alfalfa varieties are 
entirely different. But the "wild" alfalfas have a growing habit 
similar to grass and they did survive in pastures. 

So researchers worked to domesticate the wild alfalfa. Varieties 
were eventually developed that were called "pasture" types. 

Smooth bromegrass is another good example of an introduced 
grass variety that has provided excellent grazing in Corn Belt pas- 

This species was first introduced into California in 1884, prob- 
ably from Hungary. It was grown in the Midwest by 1890. Han- 
sen also brought this grass to the United States from Russia. 

Frequently mixed with alfalfa, smooth bromegrass grows early 
in the spring, goes somewhat dormant in the summer, and pro- 
vides good grazing again in the fall. The spreading root system 
provides an excellent ground cover for erosion control. 

Another European native is orchardgrass, which flourishes in 
the richer soils that stretch from the Atlantic Coast to eastern 
Kansas. It was first grown in Virginia and received its name be- 
cause it grows well in shaded areas. 

At one time orchardgrass and bromegrass were considered in 
about the same terms as ham and eggs. They just seemed to be- 
long together. 

But researchers with knowledge of grass management found 
that this theory did not hold. A research project led by Merl Teel, 
then at Purdue University, revealed that some grasses respond 
well to early grazing while others go dormant under early graz- 


ing. He discovered that bromegrass and orchardgrass yielded 
much more forage when grown separately than each did when 
grown together. 

Birdsfoot trefoil is another legume that became important to 
the grasslands area of the United States after experiment station 
researchers identified its properties and learned something about 
the management of it. A prominent figure in this research was 
H. D. Hughes of Iowa State University. 

Birdsfoot trefoil, a native of the Old World, was introduced 
into the United States at about the turn of the century. It re- 
sembles alfalfa but does not cause bloat in livestock. 

Seed harvesting was especially difficult because of the uneven 
ripening habit of trefoil. Hughes' research minimized this prob- 
lem and contributed important information to management — 
including stand establishment and seed harvesting procedures. 

Cool and Warm Season Types 

Cool season grasses grow best in the Northern Plains when 
moisture is most prevalent. They go dormant during midsummer. 

In later years considerable research has been devoted to de- 
veloping warm season grasses suitable for use in both northern 
and southern areas. One example is sudangrass, which has been 
a popular supplemental pasture in the Corn Belt. 

L. C. Newell, USDA scientist at the University of Nebraska, 

Cattle on an intermediate wheat grass pasture in South Dakota. 


has been very successful in developing superior varieties of warm 
season species, and James Ross at the South Dakota station has 
made a significant contribution with his development of Summer 
"switchgrass." His cool season "Oahe" intermediate wheatgrass 
is also known throughout the Plains and westward. 

Native grasses and tame grasses have many of the same growth 
characteristics. But management of native grassland is more com- 
plicated because several species are usually found growing to- 
gether and often in areas where moisture is short and soils are poor. 

Scientists do not agree on the best method of taking care of 
native pastures. Some feel the first consideration is to properly 
manipulate the grazing animal. 

Interestingly enough, most animals are "selective grazers." 
They will eat certain plants and leave others if given the opportu- 
nity. Some plants then become unpalatable and animals will not 
graze them at all. Even the nomadic tribesmen of an earlier day 
recognized the merits of moving animals from one range to an- 
other to allow time for grass to recover. 

E. L. Dyksterhuis of USDA's Soil Conservation Service devoted 
many research years to range improvement. His philosophy, sim- 
ply stated, is that the environment should not be changed, that 
animals must be managed in such a way that key species of grass 
are protected. Another theory is that environment can and should 
be modified and production can be increased through fertiliza- 
tion, weed control, reseeding, and mechanical tillage. 

Because of the great diversity in soils, grasses, and climatic con- 
ditions throughout our country, both points of view have proved 
appropriate under certain circumstances. 

Discovering Green Gold 

Research at Agricultural Experiment Stations has now clearly 
demonstrated that overgrazed and neglected pastures can be turn- 
ed into highly productive areas, that ranchers accustomed to 
getting two or three months of grazing time from a pasture could 
actually stretch the grazing time out to six or even up to nine 
months. To some ranchers this has virtually meant "Green Gold." 
To the consumer it has kept meat on the table at prices that are 
among the lowest found anywhere in the world today. 

Land that didn't yield enough hay or pasture to cover the tax 
payments has become valuable because of grassland research 

Getting grass started to grow is often difficult. In many cases 


the soil or terrain is unsuitable for using most kinds of tillage 
equipment. Grass is also unpredictable in terms of seed produc- 
tion. This has discouraged many farmers and ranchers from try- 
ing to rejuvenate pasture areas. 

Research at South Dakota State University and at other sta- 
tions has demonstrated that the type of seeding implement used 
and seedbed preparation are key factors in getting grasses estab- 
lished or reestablished. 

Research also shows that seedbed preparation and depth of 
planting is much more critical for the tiny grass seeds than for 
most crops. Planting depth usually must be between a quarter 
and a half inch. And if the seedbed is not packed firmly, the stand 
will be significantly reduced, even if all other conditions are 
proper. The same conditions must be met to establish a new lawn. 

Early spring or late fall is the best time to seed cool season 
grasses. Warm season grasses grow best and should be planted 
during early summer or late spring. 

More difficult is grass establishment on areas not suited for 
plowing and conventional methods of seeding. 

Agricultural research throughout the Great Plains shows that 
several implements can substitute for the plow. Those that leave 
a mulch on the surface are especially good. Where tillage is pos- 
sible, some studies show it helps to plant some other crop for 
two or three years before seeding grass. 

Soil erosion is a problem on rolling land. Various methods of 
farming slopes have been researched. 

Sod seeding or interseeding into established pastures has been 
successful. The creeping alfalfa varieties (referred to earlier in 
this chapter) have been very useful here. 

When stress such as overgrazing or drought is placed upon a 
pasture, the most desirable plants may be replaced by weeds, 
commonly defined as "plants out of place." A desirable plant in 
one area may be undesirable in another. Any plant would be con- 
sidered a weed in a pure stand of grass kept for seed production, 
for example. Yet several types of plants are desirable in a mixed 
species pasture. 

Through research and experience, ranchers have learned also 
that some plants or weeds can be removed or controlled by turn- 
ing livestock into a pasture at certain times. Mowing pastures to 
eliminate weed seed production is very effective and has been 
highly recommended. 

Weeds that spread via underground roots are called perennial. 


These are difficult to control. In some cases selective and non- 
selective herbicides are the only choices for weed control. These 
are usually limited to use on small areas that contain a very dif- 
ficult weed problem. 

Agricultural Experiment Stations throughout the country have 
research projects that constantly evaluate weed control tech- 
niques and the effects of various types of chemicals used for both 
weed and insect control. 

Insects That Can't Bug You 

Methods for biological control of weeds are being explored at 
several stations, including both Dakotas. This is an especially 
challenging area for researchers. The entomologist, for instance, 
must find an insect that selects only the undesirable plant. It can- 
not be one that would attack a desirable plant in the area after 
the weed is controlled. 

Research has demonstrated that pasture fertilization allows 
earlier grazing in the spring and higher pasture yields. 

Early grazing means the livestock grower may not have to buy 
expensive supplements during the spring months. 

Pasture and range fertility work conducted at nearly all Agri- 
cultural Experiment Stations shows that each grass type re- 
sponds differently to fertilizer treatment. The amount applied 
and the time applied are very important. In fact, fertilization 
may encourage one type of grass and discourage another. 

Research has demonstrated the wisdom of applying only the 
amount of fertilizer needed and the type needed. You can have 
soil tested at most experiment stations free or for a small fee. A 
soil test includes recommendations concerning the type and 
amount of fertilizer needed. These can supplement animal man- 
ures if they are available. 

While much has been learned about pasture establishment, 
grazing principles, and management in general, some of the most 
impressive developments in research have concerned forage har- 

Several machine companies have become partners with experi- 
ment station agricultural engineers in the search for machinery 
designs that could make grass planting and hay handling easier 
and more automated. 

The importance of fast, efficient hay handling cannot be over- 


Research has shown that the leaves of pasture plants may con- 
tain 50 percent of the weight and 90 percent of the protein or 
plant food value. The object is to harvest the crop and store it in 
such a way that losses in food value are held to a minimum. 

Because it is now difficult to hire extra farm hands during the 
hay harvesting season, machinery that can allow one man to 
handle the haymaking operation alone is much in demand. Effi- 
cient crop handling has kept food prices relatively low over the 

A large joint North Central research project currently is in 
progress. Several states have joined forces to work together on 
evaluating haying techniques and systems. 

Grassland research along with other types of agricultural re- 
search has been coordinated on a regional, national, and even in- 
ternational basis. While research has solved many problems it 
also has uncovered many new and challenging ones. 

This type of research effort has benefited the urban consumer. 
It has helped provide a food supply unequalled anywhere in the 
world, and has done so without destroying the environment. In 
many cases the environment has been improved. 

The Bible tells us that some areas of the Old World once pro- 
duced an abundance of agricultural products. Many of these 
areas are almost desolate today. Agricultural research from the 
United States is being applied in parts of these areas to help make 
them productive again. 

Drought and other types of crop-destroying phenomena will 
continue to plague agriculture everywhere. Research projects 
have helped man find ways of coping with these problems. For 
example, even though weather records show that the drought ex- 
perienced in some areas of the Plains during the early 1970's 
rivals that experienced in the 193 0's (in terms of the number of 
consecutive days without recorded moisture) , the total food and 
fiber supply of the Nation has been maintained well enough to 
avoid the severe shortages of meat and crops known throughout 
most of the world. 

For Further Reading: 

Journal of Range Management. Letters to the Editor, E. L. Dyksterhuis, 
15:295-296, 1962. 

. Nitrogen Fertilization of Northern Great Plains Rangelands, G. A. 

Rogler and R. J. Lorenz, 10:156-60, 1957. 

Roages, 3rd Edition. M. E. Heath, D. S. Metcalfe, and R. S. Barnes, Iowa 
State University Press, 1973. 


Redwoods to "Popple"— 
Aladdins in the Forests 

By Frank H. Kaufert 

In 1925 a young forester was measuring a plot of aspen, the 
weed tree that developed on millions of acres of Lake States 
forest lands after logging and land-clearing fires. A local set- 
tler watched him for a time and then exclaimed: "Why are you 
measurin' de popple, what do you think that you and those other 
city slickers that have been countin' and measurin' here all sum- 
mer can do with that worthless bresh". 

Brush indeed. In the 50 years since that incident popple or 
aspen has become the miracle tree and is used for dozens of prod- 
ucts, from lumber to paper. This phenomenon has been true 
for many species in other parts of the country, mainly because of 
research and development. 

This research extends literally "from the cradle to the grave". 
It ranges from the minute seeds of some of our mightiest trees, 
such as those of the 3 68 -foot Coast redwoods, seeds that are no 
larger than some grass seeds, to the preservation of the gnarled 
Bristlecone Pine, some of which may be over 4,000 years old. 

It covers the reproduction, growth and management of our 
close to 100 commercial tree species — evergreen and deciduous, 
hardwoods and softwoods, conifers and broadleaved, and all of 
the related products and values resulting from forest land man- 

Let's start our story with aerial photogrammetry and remote 
sensing, informational tools that serve the forest land managers 
and users in dozens of ways. One of the earliest applications of 
aerial photos was in the national forest survey, the first of which 
was made by the U. S. Forest Service in 1931. 

To a group of young foresters sloshing and wading through 

Frank H. Kaufert is Dean Emeritus of the College of Forestry, University of Minnesota, 
in St. Paul. 


southern bayous and cypress-tupelo swamps, the provision of 
aerial photos by the Corps of Engineers was an historic occasion, 
even though the photos were made for flood control and not 
forest survey purposes. Now we could see where we were going, 
what we could and could not avoid, where the timber was that 
we were surveying — and what it was. 

Boon to Fire Fighters 

Today's fire-fighting crew boss on a forest fire that has filled 
a western forested valley with a huge smoke layer needs to know 
where the front of the fire is. How does he find out? He studies 
aerial photos taken with infrared film. This heat sensitive film 
registers the front, the hot spots, through several thousand feet 
of dense smoke. 

Research is underway with the same or similar films to census 
big game. Other uses of aerial photos include detection of forest 
tree diseases and insect epidemics, locating logging roads, map- 
ping of timber types and estimating timber volume, watershed 
mapping, and determining sites for manufacturing plants. 

Low altitude 3 5mm infrared aerial photography is being used 
to analyze trends in rangeland vegetation and to monitor wild- 
Lab work on infection by rot, at Southern Forestry Experiment Station in 
Mississippi. Forest Service and State scientists cooperate in work at USD A re- 
gional research stations like this across country. 


life habitat changes, waterfowl nesting and feeding areas, and 
conditions of structures such as stockpond dams and water 
spreading systems. What a contrast to the old, slow and costly 
system of obtaining similar information on foot, horseback and 
by jeep! 

Agricultural Experiment Station forest researchers are also 
hard at work on finding applications in resource management for 
satellite imagery. 

The forest geneticist or tree improvement research specialist 
has created his own version of the "green revolution". In prac- 
tically every State and every Agricultural Experiment Station 
there are one to a half-dozen research specialists concentrating 
on the development of improved trees. Their goals are trees that 
grow faster than their parents, trees with denser wood, trees 
that are hardier and better able to survive adverse climatic con- 
ditions, disease- and insect-resistant trees, and trees that are 
superior in one or many characteristics. 

South' s "Third Forest" 

The South, the country of the southern pines stretching from 
eastern Texas to Delaware and from Tennessee to Florida, has 
seen the greatest application of forest genetics and tree improve- 
ment research. This is being accomplished by Agricultural Ex- 
periment Station scientists working in close cooperation with 
similar scientists of the U. S. Forest Service and forest industries. 

Seed orchards covering thousands of acres and consisting of 
the progeny of superior parent trees dot the Southern pineries, 
long since recovered from such earlier practices as land clear- 
ing, poor logging practices, and widespread annual burning to 
"green-up" the land for grazing. 

These seed orchards are the source of an annually increasing 
quantity of seed for the improved seedlings used in replanting 
the several million acres cut annually to produce the raw material 
for lumber, pulpwood, plywood, and dozens of other products. 
These once badly decimated forests now produce in ever increas- 
ing quantities. 

The results of more than 25 years of painstaking selection, 
grafting, breeding, outplanting and other processes utilized by 
the tree improvement researcher are showing up in terms of 
shorter rotations, more uniform stands, greater disease resistance, 
and improved wood quality. The South's "Third Forest" must 


produce almost double the present growth by the year 2000 if a 
timber shortage is to be avoided. 

Chestnut and Elm 

The American chestnut has disappeared from the hardwood 
forests stretching from the New England States to Georgia, a 
victim of the chestnut blight fungus. But some of the genetic 
material of this once abundant and valuable hardwood is ap- 
pearing in hybrids between it and various Oriental chestnuts. 
These hybrids do not have the timber qualities of the American 
chestnut, at least not yet, but they are blight resistant. Who 
knows when some persistent and imaginative forest geneticist 
will come up with a hybrid that combines disease resistance with 
timber quality? 

The American elm's future looks equally dark. The Dutch Elm 
Disease is slowly but surely killing most of the wild elm in the 
Eastern United States. It has done the same for the ornamental 
elms of many cities and towns, and threatens the remainder. 

Research with American elm selections, and with hybrids be- 
tween American elm and Japanese, Chinese, and Siberian elm, 
may not save the ornamental elms of our cities and towns. But 
it could provide us in the future with elm planting material that 
is resistant to the devastating Dutch Elm Disease fungus. 

A regional project of the forestry schools and agricultural re- 
search stations of the north central region has as its objective the 
testing of strains of Scotch pines from throughout its range in 
Europe — from the Arctic Circle of Finland to the mountains of 

Christmas Tree Plantings 

Fifteen years after the initiation of these tests the results are 
being widely applied. Strains with greener color, more hardiness, 
and greater needle-disease resistance are evident in the numerous 
Christmas tree plantings throughout the region. 

Better Christmas trees is the earliest product of this research, 
but it will continue to yield results in terms of better Scotch pine 
ornamentals, and, hopefully, even improved timber producing 

Trees for the prairies have not been overlooked. Siberian elm 
selections of better form and with stronger crotches are being 
increasingly planted to break the winds and storms of the vast 
open country of America's heartland. 




Studying effects of air pollution on Scotch pine at Penn State, as part of effort 
to breed resistant varieties of ornamental and Christmas trees. Fumigation cham- 
ber permits repeated exposure of each tree under nursery conditions, using 
only two needles each time. Pollutants studied are sulfur dioxide and ozone. 

Even the Cottonwood of the river bottoms of the prairies has 
felt the tree improver's touch. Strains resistant to leaf rust now 
are available, thus assuring retention of leaves in late summer and 
fall, and fuller utilization of the growing season. Complete late- 
summer and early-fall defoliation by leaf rust was formerly a 
common phenomenon for cottonwoods planted in shelterbelts 
and field windbreaks. 

Focus on Ecology 

Much forestry research at State Agricultural Experiment Sta- 
tions is focused on ecology — ecology of commercial and non- 
commercial species, ecology of brush or low-growing woody 
plants, forest-wildlife relations. Some of the most significant 


research accomplishments and contributions have been in this 
fascinating and complex area of research. 

University of California ecologists, for instance, have found 
that the long-lived Coast redwoods require disturbance of their 
sites, such as periodic fire, flooding or logging. Otherwise the rich 

Top, California scientist studies effect of water pollution on tree growth. 
Above left, machine developed at Penn State for digging and handling balled 
plants. Above right, Forest Service scientist uses back pack power unit to drill 
tap holes in sugar maple, in research project at Northeastern Forestry Ex- 
periment Station, Vermont. Note plastic bags on trees for sap collection. 


alluvial soil of the stream margins, which grows the largest trees, 
will be gradually invaded by shade tolerant broad-leaved species 
that will prevent redwood reproduction or crowd out that be- 
coming established. 

This information changes the entire approach to Coast red- 
wood management for park and recreation purposes. Hitherto 
the most common practice was to protect the area from all dis- 

Clear Cutting 

The present raging debate on the practice of clear-cutting of 
Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, the Southern pines, jack pine and 
red pine of the Lake States, and other conifers, is to a major extent 
a matter of ecological considerations. Most of these species de- 
mand full or near full sunlight for reproduction and best growth. 
Partial cutting of any type results in shading of reproduction, 
thus reducing rate of growth and vigor. 

The greatest present debate revolves around clear-cutting of 
the northern and eastern hardwoods, a practice that the U. S. 
Forest Service has recently introduced as a substitute for the 
previously practiced individual-tree and group selection cutting 

This will require an abundance of future research by Agricul- 
tural Experiment Stations, forestry schools, and U. S. Forest Serv- 
ice scientists to arrive at compromise solutions to the clear- 
cutting question. 

The role of wildfires and man-made prescribed fires in the 
management of most of our conifers is being increasingly re- 
searched. Prescribed fires are extensively used in the South to 
reduce brush and hardwood invasion and to prepare planting sites. 

Such fire-use is a far cry from the former promiscuous burning 
of southern forest lands to green them in the spring for early 
grazing, and for chigger control. As reported by one researcher, 
"they burned the woods because their pappies burned the woods". 

Research has shown that wildfires are generally damaging be- 
cause few of them burn in the right place at the right time. 
Prescribed fires used by foresters and ecologists are applied in the 
right place and right time to produce desired ecological changes. 

Disturbance by fire, logging or mechanical means is critical to 
the reproduction and retention of red pine in Itasca State Park — 
located at the headwaters of the Mississippi River, for Eastern 
white pine in Cook State Park of Pennsylvania, for Lodgepole 


pine in Yellowstone, for Douglas fir of Olympic National Park, 
and for many similar nationally famous recreation areas. In fact, 
it's equally critical for Coast redwoods and the Bigtree of Sequoia 
and Kings Canyon National Parks. 

Agricultural Experiment Station researchers are giving in- 
creasing attention to non-timber values of forest lands: wild- 
life, recreation, water, grazing and esthetics. Development of 
small- and large-block cutting practices for the common Lake 
States aspen type, a prime habitat for grouse and white-tailed 
deer, will help insure the future of these important game species. 

Retention and establishment of hardwoods, and even of brush 
species, in the vast areas of Southern pine plantations is being in- 
creasingly recognized as critical to maintenance of good popula- 
tions of quail and white-tailed deer. 

Campground Research 

Forested campgrounds are preferred by the rapidly increasing 
army of tourists and campers seeking relaxation and recreation in 
forested areas. The selection of such campgrounds, their manage- 
ment to prevent excessive soil compaction, and their periodic 
rotation are subjects of increasing research. Upon the success of 
this research rests much of the ability of our forests to withstand 
future recreational pressure, pressure that is expected to increase 

Forest lands of the Western, Northern and Eastern States are 
the source of much of the industrial, irrigation and human-con- 
sumption water of those areas. Research is needed on increasing 
the water yields through modified forest management practices, 
reducing the effects on water quality by modifying logging prac- 
tices, and determining the effects on nutrient regimes of logging, 
fire and various forest management practices. 

Where and when, and under what conditions are grazing 
and timber production, grazing and wildlife production and 
grazing and water production possible on forest lands? Research 
must continue to find the answers to these critical questions in- 
volved in the millions of acres of forested range lands of the West, 
forested pastures of the East, and much of the Southern pineries. 

How can forest lands produce timber in increasing quantities 
and still retain their esthetic values for our increasingly urban 
population? Research on modified clear-cutting practices, shape 
and size of cut areas, screening from view, and other timber 


Left, Washington State animal scientist works with artificial rumen in research 
on using wood as cattle feed. Right, Oregon researchers made this electron 
microscope photo of layers of cork cells of Douglas fir bark after treatment 
with a solvent. 

harvest practices is being pursued in an attempt to reduce public 
concern with the effects of logging on esthetics. 

Timber Products 

Research to improve wood products, develop new ones, in- 
crease the use of low quality timber species, utilize such normally 
wasted material as bark, and similar forest products research is 
underway in the half-dozen major and many smaller forest prod- 
ucts research laboratories of Agricultural Experiment Stations 
and associated forestry schools. 

Particleboard and related products are being manufactured to- 
day to the extent of over 4-billion square feet of % -inch thick 
board annually. In 1950 the industry was virtually non-existent. 
These products are made largely from wood wastes or residues 
and low quality woods combined with synthetic adhesives. 

Particleboard has become a substitute for lumber and plywood 
in many uses. Combined with aluminum, plastics and high density 
fiber boards it appears in kitchen cabinets, furniture, and dozens 
of other commonly used products. 

Talk about Aladdin and his magic Lamp! Today's forestry re- 
searchers are modern-day Aladdins. 

Wood-fiber products, from top quality printing papers to 
hardboards, are the subject of much research aimed at improving 


their quality and making them from lower quality woods and 
recycled wastes. 

Finding Uses for Bark 

Tree barks normally constitute 10 to 15 percent of the volume 
of most trees. Bark has largely been burned or placed in landfills 
to dispose of it. However, concentrated research at a few loca- 
tions is showing that bark can be effectively used as horticultural 
mulches, for soil improvement, as a cork substitute, or as a source 
for several interesting waxes. And it can be incorporated as a 
filler in particleboards and hardboards. 

Sawdust piles once dotted the landscape wherever timber har- 
vest and sawmilling were in progress. No longer is it a waste. It 
is now used with wood chips for fiber production, as a plastic 
filler, for fireplace briquettes, and in dozens of other ways, thanks 
to research. Making better use of logging slash — branches, leaves, 
stumps and cull materials — is an objective high on the list of 
utilization researchers. 

If good applications can be found for these low-quality wastes 
and residuals the day of "full-tree utilization" will have arrived. 


If You Enjoy Eating, 
Thank the Machines! 

By Kenneth K. Barnes and James H. Anderson 

More machines, bigger machines, better machines — they help 
perform the near-miracle of keeping American agricul- 
ture rolling and of putting food on American tables in 
unequalled abundance. Housewives buy from a plentiful supply 
of food of incredible variety, high quality, and with built-in 
work- and time-saving features. 

Mechanization of American agriculture has made it possible 
for less than 5 percent of our people to produce food for all the 
rest, thus freeing the majority of the population to produce the 
other necessities and luxuries of life. 

Some of the most dramatic changes in mechanization of agri- 
culture have come since 1940. During the depression years of 
the 1930's there had been a surplus of labor on farms, and there 
was no great incentive to use labor more efficiently. A farm 
worker growing corn or barley in 1940 produced for each hour 
of work only a third more than a worker had produced in 1910. 

But in the years beginning with 1940 there was a sharp rise in 
the output per man in producing many crops. By 1950, a man 
could produce twice as much grain for an hour of work as he 
produced in 1940. In 1960, each hour of work produced three 
times as much as it had in 1950, and six times as much as in 1940. 

The 1940's had set the stage for a rapid increase in mechaniza- 
tion. The 1950's were the years of major progress in mechaniza- 
tion of grain and forage crops. The 1960's saw rapid progress 
in mechanization of cotton and many of the fruit and vegetable 
crops harvested for processing. 

Kenneth K. Barnes is Professor of Agricultural Engineering and Head of the Depart- 
ment of Soils, Water and Engineering, The University of Arizona, Tucson. James H. 
Anderson is Director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and 
Professor of Agricultural Engineering at Mississippi State University. 


The 1970's will be the decade of mechanization of the fresh 
market fruit and vegetable crops, for many of the tasks in pro- 
duction of these crops are still done by hand. When the 20th cen- 
tury comes to a close, food production in America may well have 
become completely mechanized. 

The State Agricultural Experiment Stations play many roles 
in mechanization. Sometimes it's the obvious one of inventing a 
new machine. Such was the case in the 1960's when W. F. Buchele, 
an agricultural engineer at the Iowa Agricultural Experiment 
Station, invented the giant hay baler. The machine produced a 
1,000-pound package of hay in contrast to the usual 75- to 125- 
pound bale. 

The giant bale system provided a completely mechanized 
means of handling the bale from field to feeding at a lower cost 
per ton than other baling systems. Farmers were interested. Farm 
machinery manufacturers recognized this interest and developed 
their own versions of Buchele's basic system. 

This giant bale system is now used on many farms to cut costs 
and reduce labor in harvesting hay and feeding it to cattle. 

There have been many developments in mechanizing the hay 
harvest. H. D. Bruhn, agricultural engineer at the Wisconsin 
Agricultural Experiment Station, set out to make handling hay 
as simple as handling grain. He speculated that if a few handfuls 
of hay were subjected to high pressure under just the right con- 
ditions, the hay might stick together in a small package. 

Pancakes of Hay 

These packages were originally called wafers, and were thick 
pancakes of hay an inch thick and six or eight inches in diameter. 
The wafers could be scooped, dumped, hauled or conveyed much 
like ears of corn. The Wisconsin work stimulated much interest 
in State Agricultural Experiment Stations, the U.S. Department 
of Agriculture (USDA) and the farm equipment industry. The 
basic concept proved correct, although as experience was gained 
the details changed. 

Today, the commercially produced hay cuber picks up field- 
cured hay and produces "cubes" an inch and a half square and 
one to two inches long, at the rate of five tons per hour. This 
machine is widely used in areas where irrigated hay is grown; 
research on making hay cubing adaptable to the rain belt con- 


Top right, hay baler that makes 66-inch diameter "round" bales weighing about 
1,200 pounds. Top left, Auburn has conducted studies of this type of labor- 
saving system, with bales stored in a central outdoor area. Above left, hay 
cuber at work. Above right, hay cubes can be handled and stored like grain. 

During the period 1932-39, Agricultural Engineer T. N. Jones 
and Plant Physiologist L. O. Palmer, with the Mississippi Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station, did much work on field curing of 
hay. They found that in all cases Johnson grass and alfalfa cured 
substantially faster when the stems were crushed right after 
mowing. By crushing Johnson grass they found the usual curing 
time of 72 hours could be reduced to 24 hours. 

Hay crushing reduces the weather hazard which is so critical 
to hay production, and the hay crusher has become a standard 
tool in haymaking. 


Often the Agricultural Experiment Stations develop crop 
production technology which makes successful mechanization 
possible. In mechanization of cotton harvesting, Agricultural 
Experiment Stations helped develop cotton varieties and methods 
of fertilizing and irrigating which would produce a plant com- 
patible with machine harvest. 

Harvesters Get on the Boll 

Cotton was one of the last major crops to be almost completely 
mechanized. A patent was issued for a picker as early as 18 50 and 
in the early 1900's stripper-type harvesters were used, but they 
harvested green as well as ripe bolls. A harvester which would 
pick the cotton from ripe bolls and leave the green ones wasn't 
developed until 1942. After that development, cotton mechaniza- 
tion came in a hurry. 

In 1948, about 140 man-hours were required to produce a bale 
of cotton. Now the requirement is in the neighborhood of 20 
man-hours. Most of the reduction in labor demand has resulted 
from the virtual elimination of hand labor for weeding and har- 

Let's look specifically at the application of cotton pickers to 
irrigated cotton in Arizona. This crop is almost completely mech- 
anized, although the first mechanical cotton picker didn't ar- 
rive in Arizona until 1946. 

In 1958, some 51 percent of the Arizona cotton crop was 
machine picked. Machine picking jumped to 62 percent in 1959, 
73 percent in 1960, 80 percent in 1961, 92 percent in 1962, and 
to virtually 100 percent before the 1960's were over. 

Many factors have influenced the adoption of mechanization 
in cotton harvesting, as they have influenced the adoption of 
mechanization in any crop. Some of these for cotton were: (1) 
improvement of machines, (2) development and improvement 
of ginning facilities to handle machine-picked cotton, (3) lack 
of enough usable hand labor for the work, (4) increased knowl- 
edge of the proper application of harvesting machines, (5) de- 
velopment of machines for salvaging ground-loss cotton, and (6) 
development of varieties and growing practices which resulted 
in a plant particularly suited to machine harvest. 

State Agricultural Experiment Stations were particularly ac- 
tive in development of growing practices which would produce 
a plant suited to machine harvest. 

Uniformity of the cotton crop is critical to efficient machine 


harvest. That uniformity depends on getting a full stand of cot- 
ton at the first attempt. 
The "W-Profile" 

In Oklahoma, combined hazards of heavy spring rain and 
blowing sand often resulted in spotty stands and replanting parts 
of fields two or three times. So in the early 1950's, engineers of 
the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station developed the 
"W-profile" planter to solve the problem. 

The new planter placed the seed in a low ridge at the bottom 
of a deep furrow where it was protected from blowing sand and 
standing water. Chances of getting a full stand at first planting 
went up to 80—90 percent. And cotton farmers saved millions of 

Experiment station engineers and scientists have attacked 
many harvest-mechanization problems. Through the late 1940's, 
peanut producers used hand labor to harvest peanut plants and 
place them in stacks to dry. Then the North Carolina Agricul- 
tural Experiment Station developed a mechanical system for dig- 
ging the peanut plant, windrowing for drying, and threshing 
with a peanut harvester. 

The agricultural engineers not only devised an effective me- 
chanical system but also learned how to prevent off -flavors in the 
peanuts by proper curing during the drying period. 

Blueberries and cucumbers are two other crops which North 
Carolina engineers have done much toward mechanizing. Labor 
shortages had the blueberry industry headed for extinction until 
agricultural engineers developed a mechanical blueberry har- 
vester which vibrates the bush, catches the berries as they fall, 
and conveys them to a wagon. 

At the frontiers of mechanization in the 1970's are fruit and 
vegetable crops. Many of these crops are particularly critical in 
their present requirements for hand labor — labor that is fast be- 
coming unavailable at any price. 

This unavailability of labor may result in the loss of some vege- 
table crops from the market unless they are mechanized. And 
labor for the producing and harvesting fruit and vegetable crops 
is lower in productivity than any other labor in the Nation today. 

The U.S. economy will not indefinitely tolerate labor at this 
low level of productivity. The huge U.S. corn crop was once 
picked entirely by hand, but people had better things to do, and 
corn harvest is now among the most highly mechanized of har- 
vest operations. This same change will take place in vegetable 


and fruit crops, and many of the changes are being made through 
leadership of the State Agricultural Experiment Stations. 

Mechanization of fruit and vegetable harvest is a complex 
problem. Complex, of course, because of the fragile and perish- 
able nature of the harvested materials. Complex also because 
vegetable mechanization will not be achieved by mechanical de- 
sign alone. 

Top left, over-the-row blueberry harvester is shaped like an inverted "U". 
Top right, electrical hand-held vibrator is used to shake berries loose in harvest- 
ing small plantings. Both machines were developed through USDA-Michigan 
research. Above left, harvesting peanuts by hand in Georgia, 1941. Above 
right, modern corn picker. 


Man— a Superior Machine 

As a harvest machine, the human body is indeed remarkable. 
Through its sense of sight and touch, it measures the quality of 
the product to be harvested. This information is transmitted to 
the brain, where it is compared with standards stored in the "ma- 
chine's" memory. 

If the fruit or vegetable is ready to be picked, the arm and 
hand get a signal to grasp the fruit or vegetable, remove it from 
the plant and put it in a box or sack. The hand and arm are 
capable of moving through tortuous paths — a different path for 
each unit of product harvested — and of selecting only the de- 
sired unit without taking any trash along with it. 

Does the mechanization of vegetable and fruit harvest imply 
development of machines which will duplicate these sophisticated 
abilities of the human body? The answer is clearly no. The effec- 
tive approach is to modify the plant to reduce the degree of 
selectivity required in harvest and to place the harvested parts in 
a predictable position in relation to the harvest machine. 

Thus vegetable mechanization is not a problem for the en- 
gineer alone. It must be worked out through close collaboration 
with plant scientists, ultimately with commercial producers of 
vegetable crop seed, and with vegetable growers. 

This was uniquely illustrated in California in the early 1960's 
when work of the experiment station engineer-horticulturist 
team, Coby Lorenzen and G. C. Hanna, revolutionized tomato 
harvesting. A tomato and system of tomato culture for uniform 
maturity was developed, and a machine which could take ad- 
vantage of this uniformity was simultaneously perfected. As a 
result, processing-tomato harvest changed from a hand-labor to 
a machine job in a few years. 

Saving the Pickle Industry 

A similar team went to work in North Carolina when labor 
shortages threatened the pickle industry. Labor for harvesting 
cucumbers was especially critical. The Agricultural Experiment 
Station began a joint project with both engineers and horticul- 
turists to develop a mechanical harvester for cucumbers. The 
plant breeders developed a cucumber plant most adaptable to 
mechanical harvesting, and the engineers developed a harvester 
which can go through the field many times without damaging 
the plants. 

Engineers of the Agricultural Experiment Station in South 



Top, cucumbers pour from conveyor belt of harvester in Michigan. USDA and 
Michigan teamed up to develop cukes better suited for mechanical harvesting 
and handling, and to improve the whole pickle production process. Above left, 
technician tests slice to determine internal strength of cucumber. Above right, 
ag engineer and processor check vines. 

Carolina began developing a mechanical harvester for fresh mar- 
ket peaches in the 1960's. Working closely with horticulturists, 
these engineers have developed a machine from which the har- 
vested fruit is entirely acceptable on the fresh market. 

The same engineers have applied the experience and knowledge 
gained from their work with the peach harvester to develop a 
prototype fresh market tomato harvester. Peaches and tomatoes 
are highly susceptible to bruising and other damage from ma- 
chines. But these new machine marvels promise to change the 
harvesting of two of our most desirable fresh market products 
from a hand to a machine job. 


Agricultural Engineers Bill Harriott and Roger Garrett of the 
Agricultural Experiment Stations in Arizona and California 
began working on machine harvest of lettuce in the early 1960's. 
They worked closely with each other and established basic prin- 
ciples of lettuce harvest mechanization. USDA engineers built 
upon their work and developed a machine compatible with prac- 
tices of the lettuce industry. 

The lettuce industry, with the advice of the State-Federal 
engineer team, has now taken on development of a commercial 

And Even Strawberries 

Much effort is being directed to mechanizing fruit and vege- 
table crops. Now new machines are being developed for havest- 
ing such crops as cantaloupes, oranges and strawberries. Basic 
principles of mechanization are being worked out by growers, 
scientists, and engineers wherever these crops are grown. 

State and Federal agencies share with agricultural producers, 
and with the agricultural equipment industry, interest and re- 
sponsibility for improving the productivity of labor in agri- 
culture. These groups continually share and exchange ideas and 

As fruit and vegetable mechanization is a major thrust of the 
1970's, perhaps mechanization of production of marine animals 
and plants will be the breakthrough of the 1980's. Even now, 
Agricultural Experiment Station engineers in such seacoast States 

Lettuce harvesters developed by Ohio (left) and Arizona scientists. Ohio 
machine, tested in commercial greenhouses, may result in more greenhouse 
lettuce grown in rotation with tomatoes and during winter months. 


as Maryland, Massachusetts and Oregon have set their sights on 
mechanizing the clam, oyster and lobster industries. 

Mechanization of agriculture has all come about in little more 
than 100 years. As the United States prepares to celebrate its 
200th birthday in 1976. It's well to remember that an Ameri- 
can farmer of 200 years ago would have been perfectly at home 
with the tools used by farmers in Biblical times. And if we had 
no tools but those, almost every American would spend most of 
his working day just producing his own food. Americans would 
have little time left for exploring space and carrying on the ac- 
tivities which are the backdrop of our life today. 

When prehistoric man first began to rely less on gathering 
his food from untamed nature and began to cultivate plants and 
keep animals, the energy he used was his own. As he toiled in the 
field with crude hand tools, he dreamed of ways to do his jobs 
in the field more rapidly and with less labor. He yearned to con- 
trol more power than he himself could supply. 

He developed tools which could be drawn by animals, and 
thus became a controller of energy instead of a source of energy 
for agriculture. That was just the beginning. The desire to 
control and apply more and more power in food and fiber pro- 
duction continues. Thus, a farm worker who can develop only 
one-tenth horsepower himself can effortlessly control a 200- 
horsepower tractor. 

Hoe, Hoe, Hoe No Joke 

During all time until the middle of the 19th century, tools 
through which manpower and animal power were applied were 
very simple. They were hoes, plows, sickles, scythes, cradles 
and flails. 

In the 1850's machines which were powered by horses began 
to be adopted. Development of these machines certainly whetted 
the farmer's appetite for the heat engine, and the time was right. 
In 1769, James Watt had patented a steam engine which is rec- 
ognized as the beginning of successful application of steam for 

This event opened the door for many innovators to work to- 
ward the use of steam power. Thresher manufacturers undertook 
to make portable steam engines for agriculture. Farmers were 
also interested in steam engines for plowing, and in the 1 8 50's suc- 
cessful steam-powered tractors were developed. 

Application of steam engines to agriculture flourished from 
18 JO to 1900, but by 1920 the age of steam in agriculture was 


■* T", 






ij ^H 




L v 


4 " 




E EH . 



fr ■• -j«" 


■W. •• 

Farm machinery through the years. Top left, planting potatoes, and top right, 
hand cultivators for onions, both scenes in Iowa about 1918. Details are un- 
known on next lower photo going across page, evidently a steam engine and 
threshing activities. Pair of photos show thresher, left, and gas tractor, right, 
in California. Bottom, combines harvesting grain sorghum in Texas, 1968. 


about over. Starting in 1890 there was a great deal of activity in 
developing the internal combustion engine. From 1900 to 1920, 
great competition arose between steam (external combustion) 
and internal combustion engines. The internal combustion en- 
gine won out to revolutionize American transportation, and it 
won out to revolutionize American agriculture, too. 

From 1920 to World "War II the flexible, ever-improving in- 
ternal combustion engine paved the way for the widespread de- 
velopment and adoption of the basic tools of modern American 
agriculture. High-speed tillage, planting, and cultivating tools and 
high-capacity machines for harvesting grains, forages, and fibers 
were developed and introduced. 

Basic operating principles of many of these machines had been 
established early in the history of mechanization, but the internal 
combustion engine made effective application of mechanization 
40-Horse Combines 

For example, a grain combine was developed in Michigan in 
1832, and in 1854 it was taken to California where it harvested 
several hundred acres. The California climate and large fields 
were favorable to this type of machine. The combine became 
popular, but it required as many as 40 horses. 

Compare the morning job of "starting up" 40 horses on an 
1880 combine with the job of starting a 150 horsepower engine 
on a 1975 combine, and the role of the internal combustion en- 
gine in mechanization jumps into vivid relief. 

When World War II created a sudden upsurge in demand for 
farm machinery, all the required elements had been marshaled. 
Basic principles of many machines had been developed and 
proved. The internal combusion engine had reached a high level 
of performance and reliability. The farm equipment industry 
was firmly established. State and Federal programs of agricul- 
tural research and development were on a firm base. 

When 1940 brought a sudden need for production of food 
with less labor, America was ready. 

Throughout the mechanization revolution, the State Agricul- 
tural Experiment Stations have served as a link between agricul- 
ture and the farm equipment industry. Experiment station staffs 
have included plant scientists, animal scientists, and engineers 
who have maintained a grass-roots contact with agriculture, de- 
veloped knowledge fundamental to solving mechanization prob- 
lems, and worked closely with agriculture and the farm equip- 
ment industry in applying this knowledge. 


Man-Molded Cereal- 
Hybrid Corn's Story 

By D. D. Harpstead 

Thomas Robert Malthus shocked society in 1798 with a rather 
short essay on population growth and the food supply 
potential. He predicted that human numbers would in- 
crease at a geometric rate over time while the best to be hoped 
for from food production was an arithmetic increase. Over- 
population, famine and mass starvation were the foreseeable 

Little did Malthus know that corn, specifically hybrid corn, 
would delay for almost two centuries the impact of his dire pre- 
dictions. But Malthus should not be judged harshly. Corn was 
still generally regarded as an inferior grain three centuries after 
the voyages of Columbus brought the crop to the attention of 
the European scientific community. 

Corn truly belongs to the Americas. The American tropics 
gave rise to this food plant long before the dawn of recorded his- 
tory. Excavations in the caves of arid regions in Mexico yield 
fragments of diminutive corn cobs which may have been grown 
and collected for food more than 5,000 years ago. 

The history of corn in the Americas is the history of man. Man 
has changed corn. He ha"s molded it to serve his needs. Corn, as 
we know it, no longer grows wild. It is a man-dependent crop. 
It is our attendant servant and one of our greatest benefactors. 

Who were the men that molded and shaped the corn we enjoy 
today? That is our story. Fortunately the modern phases have 
been recorded, but the first five millenniums will have to remain 
a dark but impressive mystery into which only a flicker of light 
can be shed. These glimpses are only brief and widely separated 
in that time scale. 

D. D. Harpstead is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Crop and Soil 
Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing. 


Just when man began his systematic selection of corn to pro- 
duce unique and valuable types is not known. Certainly the 
priestly leaders of the Central and South American Indian nations 
were selecting specific types of corn as curios or objects of art. 
This selection, wittingly or unwittingly, gave rise to thousands 
of varieties of differing characteristics. 

Many of these varieties still exist and are grown in the more 
isolated regions of corn production. This occurs not only in the 
Americas but also in Asia and Africa where the varieties were 
carried by early explorers during the 16th century. 

Cotton Mather's Role 

Corn may have been ignored by the classical European bot- 
anists, but it did come under the recorded observation of several 
early writers. In 1716 Cotton Mather, better known for his witch 
hunting activities in the Massachusetts colony, demonstrated that 
crossing occurred beween two varieties — even when the unlike 
varieties were grown in separate rows. What Mather put down in 
writing was the effect of natural hybridization which was to 
spark the imaginations of inquiring minds up to the present. 

No one man can be singled out as the inventor of hybrid 
corn. All corn as it exists naturally is a hybrid — because it is cross- 
fertilized. This means that pollen from the male flower, the tas- 
sel, is carried by air currents to fertilize the female flower on a dif- 
ferent plant, in this case the silk of the ear. Cotton Mather may 
not have understood what was happening when he made his 
observations, but others did. 

As early as 1812 John Lorain, a gentleman farmer from 
Philadelphia, purposely crossed varieties of corn to obtain a more 
vigorous stock. Such activities were fairly common occurrences 
among the innovative seed producers of that day. However, most 
corn seed was still produced in fields where no control was placed 
on the sources of pollen. These varieties became known as "open- 

Value of the hybrid was recognized for its vigor in growth 
rate, size, stamina and ultimately in yield. The biological basis for 
hybrid corn is the phenomenon known as "hybrid vigor". 

The story of hybrid corn cannot be told without a brief en- 
counter with the works of Charles Darwin. Darwin was the 
fresh and free thinker of his day. Among his many books and 
papers was a discourse on "Cross and Self-Fertilization in the 
Vegetable Kingdom," appearing in 1876. 


Darwin, knew of the loss in vigor that occurred when the 
corn plant was denied the process of cross-fertilization and re- 
stricted to self-fertilization. In like manner, he was impressed 
by the vigor of the plant that resulted when two self-fertilized 
plants were crossed together. He observed and measured plants 
but did not measure yield. He concluded that cross-fertilization 
was generally beneficial and self-fertilization injurious. 

Darwin Correspondent 

For a more practical minded man, Professor William J. Beal, 
working with corn was an invitation to serve mankind. Beal stud- 
ied Darwin's results and corresponded with him about plans for 
further experimenting with corn. 

Let's take a look at Professor Beal, the man. In 1870 he re- 
turned from his studies at Harvard to his home State of Michigan 
to become Professor of Botany at the new and revolutionary Agri- 
cultural College of Michigan, now Michigan State University. 
He taught students in the classroom and he took students to the 
field. He developed gardens and nurseries and planted experi- 
mental forests. He taught botany with a purpose. 

It was only natural that Beal should look for the practical 
aspects of Darwin's theoretical concepts. Beal chose two varieties 
of corn, one flint and one dent, to test his ideas on the use of hybrid 
vigor. These varieties were planted in alternate rows in an 
isolated field. 

When the tassels appeared, all were removed from one variety 
so that all of the pollen to fall on the silks of the detasseled plants 
came from the other variety, assuring a true cross. The crossed 
seed was harvested and planted the following season. 

The year was 1877. The hybrid corn was yield tested and in- 
creases of 50 percent were reported. Other workers quickly con- 
firmed Beal's spectacular results. 

It is difficult to understand why this work did not become an 
immediate commercial success. We can speculate that the aver- 
age rugged individualist of his day saw it as belittling to have to 
buy seed, rather than select his own according to some hypothet- 
ical ideal more closely allied to art than to practical production. 

Nevertheless, the labors of Professor Beal were not lost. He 
had invented the most practical way to control the cross fertiliza- 
tion of corn, by simply detasseling the intended female parent — 
a technique so successful it is still in use today. He also inspired 
several young men whose names are to appear again and again in 



Morrow plots in Illinois, America's oldest experiment field, designated a 
national landmark by the U. S. Department of the Interior. Plots were estab- 
lished in 1876. 

the hybrid corn story. The first of these was Eugene Davenport. 
Davenport was named Dean of the College of Agriculture in 
Illinois in 1895. The focus of hybrid corn development followed 
him. He appears to have had a genius for recognizing good men, 
hiring them and inspiring them to productive activities. From 
this point, the history of hybrid corn becomes an interdependent 
and interwoven mesh of dedicated men and scientific activities. 

"Pedigree" Breeding 

Davenport brought to Illinois his former assistant at Michigan 
State, Perry G. Holden, who had also been a student of Beal. 
Holden enlisted the aid of Cyril G. Hopkins, a chemist, to in- 
vestigate the major chemical components of corn and to breed 
types that would have a superior nutritional value. 

Hopkins examined some of the crosses used by Beal and in- 
deed found differences in protein and oil content. He developed 
a "pedigree" breeding system which led to pure lines; but the 
"close breeding" was actually a slow form of inbreeding and 
caused the varieties to lose vigor and result in lower yields. 

Hopkins was disappointed and disillusioned. His practical ori- 
entation would not allow him to proceed with this work. He did 


not realize that he had laid the groundwork for the development 
of inbred lines of corn. 

Inbreeding is the process of matings between close relatives. 
In corn this can be self-fertilization as well as other forms of 
close breeding. The net result is inbred lines, and during this 
process, selections can be made for those plants having the de- 
sired qualities. 

The work of Hopkins might have ended at this point had it 
not been for the young chemist he had hired several years earlier, 
Edward Murray East. It was East who recognized that inbreed- 
ing had resulted in depressed yields and sought ways to overcome 
its effects and still preserve the desired characteristics which had 
been selected. 

The scene now shifts to Connecticut when E. M. East left 
Illinois to take a position at the Connecticut Experiment Station 
in 1905. Production of corn in Connecticut was a part of East's 
responsibilities. He had some of the inbred seed he had worked 
with at Illinois sent to him, and continued the studies that were 
to make his name prominent in the annals of hybrid corn. 

The Two Giants 

While East was initiating his work in Connecticut, George 
Harrison Shull also began inbreeding corn only 100 miles away 
at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, New York. He, like East, 
observed that inbreeding reduced yield and vigor and served to 
isolate individual lines of corn that differed greatly. With con- 
tinued inbreeding, unique characteristics were "fixed" in the 
plants and became identifiable for the individual lines. This 
work led Shull to describe his program as a "pure-line method" 
of corn breeding. 

The work of both East and Shull proceeded along parallel 
lines, neither aware of the activities of the other. Each made 
crosses between inbred lines. Each observed that selected com- 
binations of crosses could give yields superior to the best varieties 
of the region when the crossed seed was planted the following 

Shull is generally given credit for the first public announce- 
ment in 1908 of work which can be directly traced to the 
principle leading to modern hybrid corn. Very similar results 
obtained by East were quick to follow. It was inevitable that 
competition would develop between these two giants, and per- 
haps the generations of scientists who followed have spent more 


time choosing up sides than either of them did. We know that 
each held the other in deep respect and that scientific exchanges 
between them were frequent. 

Shull had approached his corn breeding from a highly the- 
oretical position, but saw in his results what he thought would be 
an immediate practical application for agriculture of his day. 

East had developed the applied orientation in his initial work. 
He concluded that even superior crosses made from two weak in- 
bred lines of low productivity would not be practical for the 
farmer because of the difficulty of growing the seed and the re- 
sulting high seed costs. 

Although some of Shull's inbreds were used for seed produc- 
tion, history proved East correct and the discovery of practical 
hybrid seed production had to wait for yet another development. 
Fortunately this development was not long in coming. 

Shull moved to Princeton and away from applied corn breed- 
ing in 1912. East moved to Harvard in 1910 and his work at the 
Connecticut Experiment Station was continued by Herbert K. 

"Double Cross" Pays Off 

While at Harvard, East came in contact with a young science 
teacher, Donald F. Jones, who became his student. When Hayes 
left Connecticut for Minnesota, Jones succeeded him and fell 
heir to the Connecticut corn work. It was Jones who cracked 
the barrier that had held up commercial application of hybrid 
corn. In only three years he had recognized the advantages of 
the "double cross". (Fortunately for mankind it was not the 
double cross of villainous connotation.) 

It was well known by 1914 that by crossing together two un- 
related inbred lines a vigorous, highly productive crossed product 
would result. This became known as the "single cross". Jones 
merely carried this one step further and crossed together two un- 
related single crosses. This was the double cross. Its success was 
immediate. Seed could be harvested from the highly vigorous 
and productive single-cross female parent. 

Jones did not make the first double cross but clearly dem- 
onstrated and publicized its value. Many men caught the vision 
and a new era for agriculture was ushered onto center stage. 

The casual reader may imagine incorrectly that the work with 
corn inbreds and their crosses was the only corn improvement 
work in progress. Actually, corn variety improvement was the 


art of the day. The time, energy and money spent on this effort 
was far greater than that being spent on the embryonic hybrid 
corn investigation. 

The commercial "open-pollinated" corn varieties of the early 
1900's were largely of the "dent" type. A dent corn was one in 
which the crest of the kernel collapsed upon maturity, leaving 
the surrounding edges of the kernel higher with a "dent" in the 

This type of corn appears to trace its ancestry to intermingling 
of the soft, floury, gourdseed corns of the Southern United 
States with the hard, New England flint corns. These were the 
two strains of corn that Lorain worked with in Pennsylvania in 
1812. Many crosses, some planned, others chance events, occurred 
between these types, giving rise to the dent corns which were 
widely distributed long before hybrids came on the scene. 

Improved corn varieties, however, were not a matter of chance. 
Men who were skilled observers selected specific types of corn 
to become the seed of future crops. Unfortunately many of these 
selections were based on artistic appeal with little or no relation- 
ship to productivity. 

Start of the "Corn Belt" 

No one man was more typical of the age of variety selection 
than P. G. Holden; the same Holden who earlier had been a 
student of Beal and was a coworker with Hopkins, East's original 
employer. He became the leading evangelist of corn through the 
first two decades of the 20th century. He spread the known sci- 
ence for corn production in Illinois, Iowa and finally to most of 
the States that now comprise the "Corn Belt". 

Holden preached variety selection. He selected for the showy 
qualities of the corn ears and made his audience aware that not 
all ears were the same, but that each ear had its individual 

The result was that many locally adapted open-pollinated 
varieties were created which matched environmental needs of a 
particular area. Unfortunately, all these many efforts did not ac- 
complish one of the chief aims — to materially improve the yield 
of the variety. No doubt this was a great disappointment to 
Holden and many others when it became a demonstrated fact 
in the early 1900's. 

The failure of variety selection to produce increased yields sud- 
denly became unimportant. Jones in 1919 had opened the door 


to practical hybrid corn seed production with his use of the 
double cross. Men like Henry A. Wallace caught the vision of 
Jones' significant discoveries and laid the groundwork for the 
great seed corn industries of the United States and the world. 
Hybrid corn was destined to become the base for all corn pro- 
duction. The open pollinated variety could not compete. 

The double cross was the spark needed to shift into high gear 
the already active corn breeding programs at many of the State 
experiment stations. Cooperative programs were developed with 
the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) . Hayes in Min- 
nesota, Jenkins in Iowa, Brink in Wisconsin are just a few of the 
men who served to carry the whole new research philosophy to 
a waiting agriculture. 

This burst of new activity generated a great search for sources 
of inbred lines that would yield hybrids adapted to a region and 
be superior in yield to the local varieties. A superior Connecticut 
hybrid would not necessarily be superior when in a foreign en- 
vironment. The local open-pollinated varieties of corn became the 
ready sources of these inbred lines. 

More than 20 years were to pass between discovery of the 
double cross and the significant adoption of hybrid seed. These 
were not wasted years. Our Land Grant Universities, through 
their Cooperative Extension Services, educated whole genera- 
tions of farmers to the value of hybrid corn. Thousands of ap- 
plied demonstrations were conducted and advantages of the new 
seed were preached. In a like manner, research efforts were ex- 
panded in the Agricultural Experiment Stations and a whole new 
phase of plant breeding evolved. 

Hybrid Vigor Phenomenon 

Donald F. Jones made a second significant contribution to the 
world of science almost at the same time he was developing the 
double cross. He clearly perceived and demonstrated that the 
phenomenon of hybrid vigor could be explained on the basis of 
Mendelian inheritance. This second contribution of Jones gene- 
rated a body of scientific work which leaves many questions un- 
answered even today. 

Understanding the hybrid vigor phenomenon, predicting the 
results of crosses, and directing the selection of superior inbreds 
have given rise to a great increase in scholarship in genetics and 
plant breeding. Individual accomplishments are far too many 


to cite in detail. Only a few outstanding contributions can be 
outlined here. 

F. D. Richey of USDA was the first to concentrate desired and 
favorable characteristics into selected inbred lines rather than 
depending upon a chance segregation of these characteristics dur- 
ing the inbreeding process. Others looked for new secrets of 
inheritance and genetic functions that operated outside of the 
Mendelian laws to explain the vigor of the hybrid combinations. 
Whole new inbred line selection schemes were developed. 

Each new scheme was designed to take advantage of the the- 
oretical causes of the hybrid phenomenon. Perhaps these reached 
their peak in the works of Fred H. Hull of the Florida Agricul- 
tural Experiment Station. 

New giants grew in the corn fields. These were men who un- 
derstood both theoretical genetics and applied plant breeding. 
George F. Sprague and his students at Iowa are outstanding ex- 
amples of the new generation of scholars who contributed to both 
practical and academic arenas. 

This new generation produced new inbred lines, new hybrid 
combinations, and little by little built the greatest body of genetic 
knowledge of a single crop the world has ever known. All of that 
took place mainly in the 30-year period between 1920 and 1950. 

This work has taught us that when more is known more ques- 
tions can be asked. 

High Speed Computers 

In searching for more answers H. F. Robinson, R. E. Corn- 
stock, and P. H. Harvey and their colleagues at North Carolina 
described genetic functioning in terms of mathematical models, 
and linked plant breeding problems to the high speed computers. 
Their publications, starting in 1949, provided new tools for the 

One group of scientists discovered that a certain selection of 
corn could be isolated that would not produce functional male 
flower parts. The female flower, the ear, developed normally. 
These plants were called "male sterile". 

It was soon learned that this factor was in the cell cytoplasm 
and could be transmitted by the maternal parent. It could be 
transferred to certain inbred lines and these lines used to produce 
seed when crossed with normal types without the laborious task of 
removing the tassels from each female plant by hand. 

The crowning accomplishment in this series of discoveries 


came when a way was found to restore male fertility to genetic 
systems previously male sterile. Credit for the discovery is gen- 
erally given to the incomparable Donald F. Jones and Paul C. 

It's amazing to realize that in corn such vital functions of life 
as reproduction could be turned on and off almost at will. To 
American agriculture and to world food production it provided 
new levels of economy and efficiency. Hybrid seed became more 
abundant and relatively cheaper. 

Race Horse Performance 

The discovery of male sterility made it practical to produce 
commercial seed of the single-cross hybrid. This idea had been 
abandoned in the early years because of seed cost. These single 
crosses performed like carefully bred race horses. They ex- 
hibited qualities for specific situations and added great precision 
to our corn production systems. 

The same benefactor, male sterility, almost spelled disaster for 
the American corn crop in 1970. A new form of an old disease, 
Southern Corn Leaf Blight, spread rapidly through the Corn 
Belt that year. Plants were hypersensitive to this disease when 
they also carried the factors for male sterility. 

Disaster was averted by the fast action of the Agricultural 
Experiment Stations, USDA, and the private seed companies. In 

Georgia's champion corn grower for 
1973 and 1974. Opposite page, New 
York farmer checks stage of maturity 
of corn he grows to feed dairy cows. 


ih* • _ » j *->«' r>« tSz 

one year's time they reconverted hybrid seed production to the 
normal male fertile types. 

The final chapter can't yet be written in the saga of hybrid 
corn. It is easy to see the impact to date. In the early 1930's aver- 
age U. S. corn yields were 22 bushels per acre. By 1940, when 
hybrid seed occupied 40 percent of the corn acreage, yields had 
jumped to 3 5 bushels per acre. Today, virtually all of our corn is 
produced from hybrid seed and our average yields approximate 
95 bushels per acre. In 1973, a Michigan farmer actually produced 
306 bushels per acre for a world record yield. 

Total corn production in the United States in 1973 was 
enough to provide each of our citizens with 1,500 pounds of 
grain for his individual use. But very little of our corn produc- 
tion is actually consumed directly. It is fed to livestock and we in 
turn consume the animal products. 

We Grow Half of World's Corn 

This supply of corn is one half of the total world production, 
and the miracle is renewed each year. Little wonder that corn 
has become the envy of the world. All of this has taken place in 
the incredibly short period of less than 100 years with the end 
not in sight. 

New hybrids are being bred that produce two and even three 
ears per plant. The vast untapped resources of the genetic stocks 


of corn from Central and South America are yet to be used 
in our commercial types. Plant breeders are just beginning to 
re-appreciate the corn variety selection work of the early 1900's 
and to rebuild new bases for further progress in corn improve- 

Man has always molded corn. The ancients could make only 
gradual changes in a few easily modified characteristics. Today, 
our tools are much more powerful. We can make corn sweeter, 
change its color, plant height, maturity and growth habit. We 
can breed types with starch that can be made into plastics. We 
can modify its nutritional quality and its kernel characteristics. 
Literally dozens of new areas of science have grown up around 
the corn crop. 

Modern science has made corn our "genie in a lamp". It still 
remains for us to be intelligent enough to ask the right questions 
of our most willing slave. 

For Further Reading: 

Crabb, A. Richard. The Hybrid-Corn Makers, Rutgers University Press, New 
Brunswick, N. J., 1948. 

Wallace, Henry A., and Brown, William L. Com and its Early Fathers, Michi- 
gan State University Press, East Lansing, 1956. 

Hayes, Herbert K. A Professor's Story of Hybrid Corn, Burgess Publishing 
Company, Minneapolis, Minn., 1963. 


Golden Beans From China 
Now Our No. 1 Cash Crop 

By Robert W. Howell 

f"T"^he Soybean! The "Golden bean" . . . ! 
j_ Now one of America's most important crops, the soybean 
was not the subject of the pilgrim's pride, nor a gift of the 
American Indian, nor a product of colonial trade. 

The soybean's early history is recorded on the other side of 
the world. In China, it predated the Christian era by more than 
a thousand years. It was and is a staple of Oriental diets, and 
the raw material of countless village industries. 

But in the last few decades the soybean has become a major 
element of world commerce. By 1973, soybeans had become 
our No. 1 cash crop, the leading export commodity, the 
major alternative crop of midwestern and southern farmers, the 
world's most effective producer of protein per acre, and the hope 
of starving millions for a better diet. 

How was this miracle achieved? It was made possible by a 
combination of fortuitous conditions ... a need for oil and pro- 
tein, accentuated by war-time demands and post-war population 
growth . . . land newly available as production of other crops out- 
paced demand, partly because there were fewer draft animals 
and thus less need for land for feed grain production . . . the 
ability of soybeans to adapt to a wide range of climates and to 
farming methods already known to corn and cotton farmers . . . 
and removal of legal restrictions on margarine. 

But there was another element, just as important or even more 
so. First a few and then many more men and women of vision, 
imagination, energy, dedication — remarkable people and institu- 
tions who saw the potential of the soybean and worked hard to 
make that potential a reality. 

Robert W. Howell is Head, Department of Agronomy, University of Illinois. He was 
formerly leader of soybean investigations in the Crops Research Division of the Agricul- 
tural Research Service, USDA. 


First mentioned by Mease in 1804 in Pennsylvania, the soybean 
(Glycine max (L.) Merr.) increased in importance slowly. Few 
varieties were available by the turn of the century, perhaps no 
more than eight in 1898. Early varieties selected in experiment 
station programs included Haberlandt from North Carolina; 
Dunfield, Mandell, and Richland from Indiana (Purdue) ; Scioto 
from Ohio, Illini and Chief from Illinois, Mukden from Iowa, 
and Arksoy from Arkansas. 

C. A. Mooers of Tennessee noted in 1908 that the flowering 
habit of soybeans was influenced by the date of planting. His ob- 
servation led to the discovery, 10 years later, by W. W. Garner 
and H. A. Allard of the U. S. Department of Agriculture 
(USDA) that the length of the day controls the initiation of 
flowering. This phenomenon is called "photoperiodism" and is 
now known to affect flowering in many plants and reproductive 
behavior of some birds. 

Soybean research in USDA in the early part of the 20th cen- 
tury was the responsibility of C. V. Piper. But the man who de- 
serves the most credit for establishing soybeans as a significant 
crop in the United States was W. J. Morse. Morse began his work 
with USDA in 1907 and soon was responsible for soybean re- 
search. For more than 40 years, until he retired in 1949, he was 
the guiding light and inspiration of soybean researchers in USDA 
and the States alike. 

He cooperated with all who responded to his invitation, and 
promoted soybean production by direct face-to-face contact 
with farmers. Morse was one of the founders of the American 
Soybean Association and was its president three times. He pub- 
lished more than 75 articles about the soybean, and in 1923 was 
co-author with Piper of a book The Soybean. 

'Travels in Manchuria 

Morse made a plant exploration trip to Manchuria, Korea and 
China with P. H. Dorsett from 1929 to 1931. Most of the soy- 
bean varieties now in use in the United States are descended from 
lines which he collected on that trip or which Dorsett had col- 
lected on an earlier trip. 

The potential of the soybean was recognized by many people 
of great vision in the State Agricultural Experiment Stations in 
the early decades of this century. Nearly every State had a "Mr. 
Soybean", some more than one, and the titles were well deserved. 

These experiment station and USDA leaders were joined by in- 


L_ JES^^S 

*J IB'-- ~ SZSS 



^S3^5aWw« aB, ^r^ 


^ I 


:: V t 




\ 1 


^**TjrJwl 1 


^jfclp^ j£ 


> risci^'M 

"I" r^ ' 

1 ' . * 

Si - 



Top, Illinois and USDA scientists confer as mobile machines capture soybean 
plot air samples that are then pumped by hose to trailer in background. Center 
right, checking recordings in trailer of carbon dioxide concentrations and sun- 
light intensity, to determine basic life processes of plants in field. Center left, 
culturing soybean tissues in solutions containing radioactive compounds, at an 
Urbana lab. This permits studies of how the plant produces protein and oil. 
Above, high speed movie camera records feeding of soybean stalks into a 
harvester reel and experimental cutterbar. 


dustry leaders of comparable vision. Firms such as A. E. Staley 
Co., which in 1921 offered a soybean contract to farmers with a 
guaranteed price of $1.35 per bushel, encouraged farmers to 
grow soybeans and offered them a market. 

Official coordination of the soybean programs in experiment 
stations and USDA began in 1936. In that year the U.S. Regional 
Soybean Industrial Products Laboratory was established at the 
University of Illinois in Urbana under authority of the Bank- 
head- Jones Act. Utilization research was transferred to the 
Northern Regional Research Laboratory in Peoria, 111., in 1942. 

Production research, mainly plant breeding and production 
practices, remained at Urbana as the U.S. Regional Soybean 
Laboratory. A cooperative effort of State Agricultural Experi- 
ment Stations and USDA, the program of the Soybean Labora- 
tory is still defined in Memoranda of Understanding between 
USDA and the stations of the North Central and the Southern 
States. USDA has located most of its soybean production re- 
search staff at State Agricultural Experiment Stations. 

Little or no distinction was made between a "Federal" and 
"State" program in many States. Much of the credit for fixing 
this cooperative philosophy in soybean research is due to O. S. 
Aamodt, who was Morse's immediate superior and had been head 
of the Agronomy Department at Wisconsin before joining the 
USDA staff in 1939. 

Aamodt was dedicated to the importance of cooperative 
USDA-State effort. He counseled new Federal employees at great 
length to this effect. Cooperation became the tradition, the norm, 
in soybean research and has continued so. 

The most significant expansion of soybean production re- 
search in both numbers and scope occurred under the leadership 
of Herbert W. Johnson, who was leader of soybean investiga- 
tions from 1953 to 1964, and is now head of Agronomy and 
Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota. He emphasized the im- 
portance of basic research and interdisciplinary studies, and the 
need to relate research to practical problems. Following Aamodt's 
counsel, he stressed the importance of State-Federal cooperation. 

The first soybean variety to come from the cooperative USDA- 
State program was Lincoln, released in 1943. Actually the hybrid- 
ization from which Lincoln was selected was done by C. M. 
Woodworth of Illinois several years before the Soybean Labora- 
tory was established. Later came Hawkeye, Ogden, Roanoke, 
Clark, Lee, Amsoy, Corsoy, Beeson, Calland, Cutler, Wayne, 


Left, geneticist Richard L. Bernard examines a vine-like ancestor of modern 
soybeans. Right, soybeans are an important cash crop. 

Pickett, Jackson, Hardee, Williams, and many others. Previous 
varieties had been the result of selection from introductions, not 
hybridization to combine the good points of two parents. 

The variety development program is based on a strong founda- 
tion of genetic fundamentals. Soybean breeder-geneticists have, 
therefore, been able to make major contributions to genetic 

An example is the study of the genetic controls of maturity 
by R. L. Bernard, with USDA at Illinois. Maturity of a variety 
is governed by numerous genes and is influenced by environmental 
conditions. Using a "back-crossing" technique to produce 
closely related genotypes which differed by a single morphological 
trait such as leaf shape, Bernard discovered that a single gene can 
condition a difference of as much as 23 days in time to flower- 
ing and 1 8 days to maturity. 

Most breeding effort has been on so-called industrial varieties 
as contrasted with "vegetable" types. But C. R. Weber, with 
USDA at Iowa State, developed Kanrich and Kim, and later the 
large-seeded Disoy, Magna, and Prize, varieties intended for vege- 
table use, as contrasted with crushing for oil and protein. 


High protein varieties, Provar and Protana, were released in 
the 60's respectively by Weber and A. H. Probst, with USDA at 
Purdue. H. W. Crittenden of Delaware developed Verde, a 
variety suitable for canning as a green bean. 

Soybean production in the South increased rapidly after 
World War II. E. E. Hartwig, with USDA at the Delta Branch 
Station in Mississippi, is widely recognized for his leadership of 
southern soybean research, and for varieties and production con- 
cepts which he introduced. 

The original breeding and genetics programs were gradually 
supplemented with programs in plant pathology, plant physi- 
ology, weed control, nematology, agricultural engineering, and 

Phytophthora Rot 

The first major threat to the soybean crop was phytophthora 
rot. First observed in northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana in 
1948, the cause was identified as a species of Phytophthora by 
A. J. Suhovecky and A. F. Schmitthenner of Ohio in 195 5. It 
was soon found to occur widely in soybean-producing areas of the 
North Central States and the Delta. 

A simple genetic type of resistance, found in Blackhawk 

Testing moisture percentage of soybeans from test plots and weighing them, 
at University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. Goal is to breed soybean varieties 
resistant to corn earworm. 


variety by Bernard and M. J. Kaufmann of Illinois, provided the 
means of breeding varieties that are resistant to phytophthora rot. 

Discovery of the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines 
Ichinohe, near Wilmington, N. C, in 1954 by N. N. "Winstead, 
and the discovery within a few years of the nematode in soy- 
bean fields in the Mississippi Delta, posed another serious threat 
to soybean production. 

A major effort to find genetic resistance was initiated with a 
program to screen the entire germplasm collection. 

Unlike the simple genetic mechanism of resistance to Phy- 
tophthora, resistance to the nematode was very complex. It was 
eventually shown to involve at least five genes, one very closely 
linked to the gene causing the undesirable black seed coat. 

When a source of genetic resistance was found by J. P. Ross 
and C. A. Brim, with USDA at North Carolina, an intensive 
program to breed resistant varieties was started. 

After a yellow-seeded resistant line was discovered, Pickett 
variety was introduced in 1965. Custer and Dyer were released 
a short time later. These varieties provided protection against the 
nematode. Race 4, discovered in 1969 in Arkansas, caused severe 
injury to the newly developed resistant varieties. Resistance to 
Race 4 has been found and is being used in the development of 
varieties which will be resistant to it. 

China Variety Saved Day 

Pickett, Custer, and Dyer derive their resistance to the cyst 
nematode from the variety Peking, which was introduced from 
China in 1906 and named "Peking" in 1910. 

Peking was of little significance in the growth of the soybean 
industry until the cyst nematode attack occurred. This is an 
outstanding example of the importance of preserving germ- 
plasm, for without the resistance available in Peking the cyst 
nematode might have had a devastating effect upon soybean pro- 

Many other soybean disease, nematode, and insect problems are 
known and are receiving research attention. So far, soybeans have 
escaped such ravages as the southern corn leaf blight of 1970 or 
the rust epidemics that constantly threaten wheat. 

Living Together 

The soybean is a legume and as such is capable of using nitrogen 
from the air through a symbiotic relationship with a bacterium, 


Rhizobium japonicum (Kirchner) Buchanan, which infects the 
roots and forms nodules. 

Specific affinity relationships exist between bacterial and soy- 
bean genotypes, but, so far it has not been possible to replace 
established Rhizobium populations in the field with other strains 
that may be better suited to current varieties. 

Chemical control of weeds in soybean fields is probably the 
most important technical advance in soybean production dur- 
ing the last 10 years. Chemicals that were popular and effective 
in corn, such as 2,4-D and atrazine, are toxic to soybeans and, 
therefore, could not be used. But selective herbicides for soybeans 
began to appear beginning in the late 40's. 

Dinoseb, chlorpropham, and naptalam were among the earliest 
soybean herbicides. They have been replaced now with highly 
selective and effective chemicals such as amiben, trifluralin, and 

C. G. McWhorter, with USDA at Mississippi, has made not- 
able contributions to soybean weed control in the Delta, includ- 
ing innovations such as herbicide-impregnated wax bars and di- 
rected sprays which made it possible to apply herbicide to weeds 
without exposing the soybeans. His double rate of trifluralin 
application is widely and effectively used to control rhizome 
Johnson grass. By the early 70's, nearly all soybean growers were 
using chemicals for weed control. 

Modern soybean farming is an example of mechanized agricul- 
ture. Early interest in mechanization was shown by a demonstra- 
tion of a combine for harvesting soybeans at the Delta Branch 
Experiment Station, Stoneville, Mississippi, in 1926. But losses 
in harvesting have continued to cost soybean growers some of 
their production. Harvest losses can reach several bushels per acre. 

Important technological advances in processing and use of soy- 
beans have provided expanded markets. Introduction of the 
solvent extraction process — replacing the expeller — produced a 
higher quality oil and meal. 

Deodorizers Developed 

Techniques were developed to deodorize the oil, making it 
more acceptable for salad and cooking oils, which now comprise 
the largest use of soybean oil. 

Removal of restrictions on colored margarine in the years after 
World War II and consumer acceptance resulting from experi- 


Availability and uses of soybean oil, year beginning Oct. 1, 1973 1 

Availability Million lbs. 

Beginning stocks 516 

Production 8,999 

Total Available 9,515 


Domestic Use 7,300 

Exports 1,425 

Total Use 8,725 

Domestic Uses 


Salad & Cooking Oils 3,070 

Shortening 2,185 

Margarine 1,514 

Other food products 12 

Total Food Uses 6,781 

Non-food Uses 492 

Food use as percentage of total domestic use: 92.7 
■Source: Fats and Oils Situation, FOS— 275, November 1974, USDA— ERS. 

ence with margarine during the war led to expanded use of 

In 1974 more than 90 percent of the domestic use of soybean 
oil was margarine and other edible products (see first table) . The 
principal non-food products of soybean oil are paint and varnish, 
and resins, each comprising about one percent of domestic use. 

Improvements in feeding of broilers with high protein meal 
were followed by similar developments in feeding laying chickens 
and swine, and in use of soybean products in pet foods and in beef 
cattle concentrates. About three-fourths of the soybean meal is 
used domestically, mostly in commercial feeds (see second table) . 
Soy flours, which may be defatted or full-fat, are used as addi- 
tives in bread and cake flours. Soybean meal is used in industrial 
products such as adhesives, in emulsion paints, and in stabilizers. 

Many companies — as well as USDA's Northern Regional Re- 
search Laboratory at Peoria, 111., and Agricultural Experiment 
Stations — contributed to these advances. 

Traditional use of soybeans in the Orient was for human food. 
Nor were food uses overlooked by early workers in the United 


Availability and uses of soybean meal, 1973-74 1 


Stocks— Oct. 1, 1973 

Total Available 



Total Use 

Stocks— Oct. 1, 1974 

Thousand tons 





'Source: Soybean Digest Bluebook, 1975. 

States. Sybil Woodruff and Olive Zwerman of Illinois published 
numerous recipes for use of soybeans and soybean products. Use 
of soybean oil was promoted in the preparation of potato chips 
and desserts, as well as use of green soybeans for canning and as 
fresh vegetables. 

Research of the Peoria group was also concerned with use of 
soybeans in oriental foods, important for the Japanese market, 
and in simple processing methods suitable for use in villages of 
less-developed countries. 

More recently, food scientists have developed soybean products 
for use directly in human foods. Texturized vegetable protein, 
already in commercial use as a meat extender, is a good example. 

In 1961 the Minnesota legislature authorized several soybean 
research positions. This was the first State action specifically 
directed toward building a soybean research program. 

During the last few years the American Soybean Association 
has taken the initiative leading to adoption of programs to pro- 
vide funds from growers for soybean market development and 

Liquid protein fed into a spinning 
machine emerges as bands of tiny 
white fibers, in this vegetable pro- 
tein foods plant in Iowa. After 
color and flavor are added to the 
bands, they will be cut into various 
shapes and sizes, packaged and sold. 


research. There are now many soybean positions in the experi- 
ment stations. 

Meanwhile the staff of USDA has increased more slowly be- 
cause of policies limiting the number of Federal employees. 

A significant private (commercial) soybean breeding effort 
began during the 1960's. Stuart and Hampton varieties were de- 
veloped at Coker Pedigree Seed Co. in South Carolina. In 1964 
a group of seed producers organized Soybean Research Founda- 
tion, Inc. to conduct a breeding program based at Mason City, 
111. In 1967 a soybean breeding program was initiated by Peter- 
son Seed Co. of Waterloo, Iowa, now a division of Pioneer Seed 

Enactment of the Plant Variety Protection Act in 1970 has 
stimulated more companies to begin breeding soybean varieties. 

Beans and the World Scene 

Soybean researchers in the northern States have cooperated for 
many years with colleagues in Canada. Southern researchers have 
cooperated with colleagues in Mexico, Brazil, Guyana, and other 
parts of Latin America. The U.S. Agency for International De- 
velopment (US AID) encouraged soybean tests in India and 

An International Soybean Resource Base, INTSOY, was estab- 
lished at the University of Illinois under USAID sponsorship in 
1973. The INTSOY program concerns development of soybeans 
for food uses in the less-developed countries, and training people 
from those countries to carry out soybean research and extension 
programs in their home countries. 

The soybean industry has encouraged soybean research with 
industry funds and by supporting appropriations for soybeans. 
The National Soybean Processors Association provided grants to 
universities through the National Soybean Crop Improvement 
Council beginning in 1949. The American Soybean Association 
Research Foundation was established in 1965. 

Communication among officials who are responsible for al- 
locating funds from these various sources is encouraged by the 
National Soybean Research Coordinating Committee, which 
has members from Federal agencies, State Experiment Stations 
and extension services, industry associations, and State soybean 
promotion boards. 

The soybean has come of age in American agriculture. It has a 


golden future, too, because of its great potential in providing 
calories and protein for diets around the world. 

An increase in U.S. soybean yields of one bushel per acre pro- 
duces additional protein equivalent to the total needs of nearly 
23 million people. Is it any wonder that nutritionists and hu- 
manitarians join American farmers in crying for higher soybean 

Problems remain — a need to increase per acre yields, a need to 
adapt to tropical environments, a need to conteract antinutri- 
tional constitutents, and a need to adjust to constantly changing 
markets. These challenges are but opportunities to the soybean re- 
search community that now has the size, vigor, and skills to deal 
successfully with tomorrow's problems, and is as dedicated as 
those who went before. 

For Further Reading: 

Caldwell, B. E., ed. Soybeans: Improvement, Production, and Use, American 
Society of Agronomy, Madison, Wis., 1973, $14.50. 

Smith, A. K. and Circle, S. J., eds., Soybeans: Chemistry and Technology, Vol. 
1, Avi Publishing Co., Westport, Conn., 1972. 


A Million Gallons of Water 
For a Single Acre of Food 

By Wynne Thorne 

Among the elements needed to sustain plant life, water is 
unique in the tremendous quantities required. In our arid 
West one acre of irrigated crop land will commonly re- 
ceive a million gallons or more of water a season. 

No wonder the farmer has been obsessed with water! He has 
sought through magic, religious rites, and more recently through 
cloud seeding, to increase precipitation. Where such activities 
have proved inadequate, billions of dollars have been spent to 
store, transport, and apply water to arid soils. 

In the arid and semi-arid lands that occupy more than half of 
the earth's surface, man has devised ways to conserve moisture 
under rain-fed situations, and he has devised ways to use water 
efficiently by irrigation. 

Irrigation is not a recent device. Remains of imposing struc- 
tures for irrigation along the Nile, Indus, Ganges, and Hwang 
Ho rivers bear mute evidence to the ingenuity of man before 
recorded history. In the United States similar evidence near the 
Salt River in Arizona indicates a flourishing large scale ir- 
rigation system 2,000 years ago. 

Conditions surrounding these ancient irrigation structures 
reveal struggles with many of the same problems we have today: 
silt-filled canals, waterlogging of soils, over-irrigation, and salt 
accumulation. Drainage either was not understood or seldom 

Early Catholic fathers from southern Europe who established 
missions in the Southwest introduced the first irrigation practices 
to this continent in modern times. A dramatic advance in irriga- 
tion began in 1847 when the Mormon pioneers diverted City 

Wynne Thorne is Director, Emeritus, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Utah State 
University, Logan. 


Creek to water sagebrush-covered land so it could be farmed in 
what is now the center of Salt Lake City. 

Stories of the success of the Mormons in developing a produc- 
tive agriculture in an otherwise arid and forbidding environment 
soon spread to almost all parts of the West. The expansion of ir- 
rigation agriculture was often a secondary product of the influx 
of people attracted by gold, silver, and other hopes for sudden 
wealth who, disappointed in finding immediate riches, remained 
to farm. 

The expansion of irrigation in the West has been substantial 
and continuous. Irrigated acreage in the 17 Western States more 
than doubled in the 30 years between 1939 and 1969 to attain a 
total of over 36 million acres. 

Left, weighing wine grapes from 
experimental plot at Washington 
State irrigated research center. Goal 
of studies is to develop a new in- 
dustry in State. Below, irrigated 
Texas corn field. 


Since 77 percent of the land irrigated in 1969 was developed 
with private investment, irrigation has been an attractive invest- 
ment opportunity. In fact, of 14 J million acres newly irrigated 
since 19 JO only 23 percent was under Federal projects, or the 
same proportion as that developed before 19*0. 

Investments in these facilities are expensive, but abundant, 
assured yields and diverse opportunities for farm management 
practices make expansion of irrigation attractive. No other sys- 
tem of farming holds such opportunity for applying science to 
farming, nor offers such security against the perennial threat of 

Water scarcities in farming are not limited to the arid West. 
Almost every farming region suffers periods of drought, and 
with high value crops such as tobacco, vegetables, and fruits, 
financial losses from even temporary droughts can be high. 
Irrigation agriculture has thus spread widely; the 1969 U.S. 
Census of agriculture reported substantial irrigated areas in every 
State except Alaska. 

Although only slightly over 10 percent of the Nation's 
cropped land is irrigated, this land includes 5 8 percent of all 
orchards, 56 percent of our potatoes, and 50 percent of vegetables. 

During the early irrigation development period, most irriga- 
tion was initiated by individuals or small groups diverting water 
from rivers or streams through short canals to irrigate nearby 

Soon the possibilities for such simple diversions were ex- 
hausted and larger schemes were instituted, first, on a modest 
scale by private development companies and later by public 
effort through the Federal Government. Several State govern- 
ments also have become important sponsors. 

Recently, the larger irrigation development projects have been 
made multipurpose, combining such functions as generation of 
electric power, flood control, and recreation. 

The Giant Hoover Dam 

A notable example of an initial multipurpose regional ap- 
proach to irrigation was the development of Hoover Dam as an 
important phase of the Colorado River Basin Project. 

Rapid development of agriculture in southern California and 
Arizona in the early 1900's created needs for additional water, 
electric power, and control of floods that repeatedly wasted wa- 
ter to the Salton Sea. 


Such problems could be met only through construction of 
large-scale water control facilities on the Colorado River. This 
required agreement among the seven states that claimed rights 
in the river's waters. Such an agreement was reached in the 
Colorado River Compact of 1922. 

In 1928, after extensive deliberation, the Boulder Canyon 
Project Act was passed by the U.S. Congress. The Act provided 
for construction of Hoover Dam and associated hydroelectric 
installations, and for construction of the All-American Canal to 
carry water to the Coachella and Imperial Valleys in California. 

When completed, this was the first major multipurpose river 
system project. Others that followed include the Columbia River 
Basin Project, the numerous reservoirs and related facilities in the 
Upper Colorado River Basin, and the many units of the Califor- 
nia Water Plan. 

Under early conditions of simple diversions from streams and 
rivers, water was cheap and plentiful. With no dependable evi- 
dence available on the water-holding capacity of soils, many 
farmers reasoned that if a little irrigation was good, more should 
be better. Even though the soil in the root zone of annual crops 
could seldom hold more than six inches of water, individual ap- 
plications of several times this quantity were often made with 
the mistaken belief that the water was being stored for later use. 

Dreaded White on the Ridges 

And so the errors of the ancient irrigation-based agriculture 
were repeated. Soils became waterlogged, particularly those in 
the lower elevations. With water accumulation came white in- 
crustations of salts on the ridges, and the term "alkali" became 
one of dread among irrigation farmers. 

With rapid increases in population in the West coming at the 
same time as a rapid expansion in irrigated land, competition for 
limited supplies of water has been intensified. This has led to 
extensive investigations of measures that might increase the wa- 
ter supply. 

Most water in streams and lakes of the arid West originates 
in mountain zones having higher precipitation. In Utah and 
Nevada over 90 percent of the water available for irrigation 
originates at elevations above 7,000 feet. Water leaving moun- 
tain watershed areas includes rain and snow minus what is lost 
through evapotranspiration from soils and plants. 

Studies in California and Arizona show that under suitable 


Sheep graze on irrigated farm in Washington's Columbia River Basin Irri- 
gation Project area. 

conditions, replacing deep rooted and heavy water absorbing tree 
and shrub vegetation with shallower rooted grasses and forbes 
(broadleaved herbs) will increase the yield from watersheds. 

One method of controlling types of watershed vegetation is 
through controlled grazing. Sheep and some wildlife species pre- 
fer shrubs and trees, while cattle usually prefer grasses and forbes. 
Times and intensities of grazing also affect survival of different 
plant species. 

However, public interest in environment and esthetics, and 
concern over man's manipulation of natural conditions, have 
opposed broad scale changes in vegetation. Further, a large pro- 
portion of the effective watersheds are publicly owned and much 
is covered by forests. So, while changes in vegetation could in- 
crease available water supplies, little has been done to achieve this 

Cloud Seeding 

Increasing precipitation is a promising potential. Careful meas- 
urements of changes in precipitation have demonstrated that 
during favorable storm conditions the quantity of precipitation 
may be increased as much as 20 percent by seeding clouds with 
silver iodide. 

Some seeding can be done conveniently from a mountain by 
passing silver iodide into a hot flame that vaporizes the salt and 
expels it upwards into the clouds. In other instances aircraft have 
been used. 


Unfortunately, cloud seeding is successful only with moisture- 
laden clouds having restricted temperature characteristics. In 
many western areas, however, precipitation comes largely as snow 
that accumulates during winter months in mountain watersheds 
and provides stream flows and irrigation water in spring and 

In such situations seeding of winter storm clouds has been rel- 
atively successful. And since the normal snow pack provides for 
such water losses as evaporation and use by native vegetation, an 
actual rise in stream flow from a 1 percent increase in snow pack 
may exceed 1 5 percent. 

Many canals lose as much as 10 to 30 percent of their water 
in a mile. Lining such canals prevents seepage and helps reduce 
waterlogging and salt accumulation in soils. Thin plastic films are 
currently the most popular, but special soil cementing agents and 
asphalt preparations are used too. 

Control of weeds in reservoirs and canals, and in areas ad- 
jacent to stream beds, also can save large quantities of water. 
Water-consuming weeds near stream beds have been estimated 
to use over 15 million acre feet of water annually in the West. 
Its removal is costly, however, and wildlife interests and others 
have opposed eradication of such shrub and tree habitats. 

Efforts to control evaporation losses from streams and res- 
ervoirs have had only small success. Studies have centered on 
covering reservoirs with thin films of chemicals such as hexa- 
decanol. Unfortunately wind and other disturbances have caused 
breaks in the film so that benefits have been limited to quiet 
water bodies of usually less than two acres. 

Water Quality 

One major factor in water supply has been the quality of the 
water. Irrigation decreases water quality by leaching salts from 
soils and concentrating them in the water returning to the 
stream. Urban and industrial users commonly add organic and 
mineral materials to water. 

Establishment of water quality standards at state boundaries 
of interstate streams is causing a re-examination of water use 
which contributes to these conditions. 

Although most quality standards have not been fully estab- 
lished nor rigidly enforced so far, water use practices in different 
river systems are under intensive study. Available information in- 
dicates that the inevitable imposition of water quality standards 



California scientist takes water sample as part of State-wide survey. 

will have major impacts on all water users, and especially on ir- 
rigated agriculture since it has become the major consumer of 

Some irrigated areas have good natural drainage so that excess 
water can move downward and laterally through the soil. In 
other instances, especially in the extensively irrigated areas, the 
movement of excess water is impeded by impermeable subsoil 
conditions. In such areas water accumulates in the soil, salts are 
concentrated, and eventually crop growth is injured. 

As a solution, drains are being installed and maintained in to- 
day's irrigated farms. 

Drainage research has concentrated on the design and perform- 


Out West, water rights are one of the prime determinants of land value. 

ance of different types of drains. Permeability tests of soil and 
subsoil materials provide good indices for calculating the depth 
and spacings of drainage laterals, but drainage in some clay soils 
of low permeability remains a problem. 

Water Vs. Wine and Women 

A common saying in the arid West is that more men have lost 
their lives in fights over irrigation water than over wine or 
women. And so, much attention has focused on rights to use 
water. The rights to water are usually based on the Doctrine of 
Appropriation which includes seniority of use. 

Commonly, the first developers of irrigated farms on a stream 
have claimed and often used more water than was necessary for 
good farming. To control such abuses, appropriation rights have 
been limited to quantities that can be verified as beneficial. 

The situation is further complicated by the fact that laws may 
be quite different when applied to developing underground 
water as contrasted to diverting water from streams. 

The legal question as to who owns and controls water is be- 


coming increasingly complex. In extensive watershed systems, 
water wasted or excessively applied on one farm becomes the 
primary source of water for farms farther down stream. The 
question of ownership of water that could be saved by lining 
canals and efficient irrigation practices is too often a hindrance 
to the adoption of needed conservation practices. 

Little agricultural research in the West preceded the Hatch 
Act of 1887 which provided for establishment of State Agricul- 
tural Experiment Stations. A notable exception was the appoint- 
ment of E. W. Hilgard as Professor of Agriculture at the Uni- 
versity of California, Berkeley, in 1874. Almost immediately he 
became concerned with "alkali" soils, and drew apt analogies be- 
tween conditions near Stockton and those in India. 

Hilgard understood the consequences of excessive application 
of irrigation water, the need for drainage, and the different types 
of "alkali" and methods of treatment. By the early 1890's effec- 
tive treatments were devised that were closely similar to those 
used today. 

Engineers and early experiment station scientists in California 
and Colorado were among the first to be concerned with the 
"duty of water," expressed as the number of acres that can be 
irrigated with one continuously flowing stream of one cubic 
foot per second. Data were collected by measuring size of stream 
and length of use by different farmers or groups of farmers in 
relation to the area of land being irrigated. 

These early measurements gave such varying data as 50 to 300 
acres being irrigated by a stream of one cubic foot per second 
of water. But for intensive irrigation periods, values as low as 1 
acres were reported. 

Court Orders 

A continuing concern has been to devise water conserving 
practices to maximize the area served by a given stream of water. 

In many areas with water shortages, the quantity of irrigation 
water that may be used per season per acre is limited by court 
order. Depending on climate and length of growing season this 
commonly falls in the range of three to four feet depth of ir- 
rigation water per acre of cropped land. 

With newer practices employing scientific designs even lower 
quantities can support high crop yields. 

The first irrigation experimental plots were apparently estab- 
lished by J. W. Sanborn at the college experimental farm at 


Left, one of earliest irrigation field plot experiments, Utah, about 1893. Right, 
irrigating potatoes with siphons in Utah, 1958. 

Logan, Utah, in the summer of 1890. Among the variables stud- 
ied were: night versus day irrigation, flooding versus furrow 
methods of application, differences in time between irrigations, 
and relations between irrigation practices and fertilizing with 
farm manure. 

Studies in Utah were followed a year or two later by similar 
studies at Fort Collins, Colorado; Laramie, Wyoming; Califor- 
nia, and Arizona. While early investigations concentrated on 
methods of irrigation, frequency of watering, and quantities to 
apply, the emphasis gradually shifted toward efficiency of wa- 
ter use and maximizing yields per unit of water and other inputs. 

Improved water application efficiencies were attained by level- 
ing land, using shorter runs between head ditches, and using 
catchment basins at the bottom of fields and pumping this water 
back to the head ditches. (A head ditch is an irrigation ditch 
across an upper slope from which water is drawn into furrows.) 

Further steps toward reducing labor requirements in irriga- 
tion and precise timing of water applications have been attained 
by solid set and center pivot sprinkler installations instead of 
movable types, particularly for high value perennial crops. More 
recently trickle irrigation systems are being used for further econ- 
omies in labor and water use. This system of wetting a limited 
part of the soil by applying water from a series of controlled drip- 
joints in plastic tubes reduces evaporation losses and supports good 
crop yields. 

Irrigation also can circumvent temperature problems. Where 
warm waters have been available from springs or industry, their 
use in irrigation has brought about earlier warming of soils and 
germination of seeds. 


"Ditch rider" in Nevada works a 
headgate to start irrigation water on 
its way to crops. Headgates measure 
amount of water used, besides con- 
trolling the flow. 

Frost Losses Cut 

Sprinkling has had limited success in reducing frost damage 
in early spring or fall. A successful venture has been the recent 
experiment in Utah to reduce fruit losses from frost. Sprinklers 
turned on at regular intervals when air temperatures rose as high 
as 45° to 50° F. The cooling effect of moisture evaporation de- 
layed the opening of fruit trees blossoms by more than two weeks, 
sufficient to reduce damage from spring frost. 

A much debated issue has been the availability to plants of 
water stored in the soil. 

Early workers concluded soil moisture was readily available 
to plants anywhere between the soil's full moisture capacity and 
the point at which plants wilt. 

With technological developments plus subsequent detailed ex- 
periments, evidence became conclusive that plants are retarded in 
growth as water becomes increasingly scarce in the soil root zone. 
The trend has been strongly toward more frequent irrigations 
well before signs of wilting occur. 

Salt was also found to exert a detrimental effect by increas- 
ing the force which plants must exert to absorb water. 

Evapotranspiration losses from a growing crop increase only 
modestly as crop yields advance. Carefully timed irrigations, 
with calculated quantities of water to keep soil moisture near ideal 
for crop growth, will use less water than the older irrigation 


Providing a favorable soil moisture situation by irrigation, 
adequate fertilizers for a favorable nutrient status, and improved 
crop varieties to bring rapid growth and high yields, have estab- 
lished the basis for scientific farming at a level never known 
before. The limited rainfall in most western irrigated areas make 
possible optimum yields and optimum quality because of farm 
practices possible with irrigation. 

In the West there are thousands of small, inefficient irrigation 
companies. Although studies have pointed convincingly to the 
potential economies in water conveyance costs and water con- 
servation by combining many of these companies, seldom have 
there been any substantial changes. 

Social science studies have evaluated the membership in these 
companies and shown among other things that the older and less 
educated the water users are, the more reluctant they are to 
change. Such studies also suggest that improvement of informa- 
tion programs may lead to more effective reorganization and re- 
structuring of water distribution systems. 

Although irrigated agriculture is facing increasing competi- 
tion for water and even though there are additional problems 
needing solutions, evidence indicates an increasingly important 
role for irrigation in assuring a reliable and high quality supply 
of food. 


Home Food Preparation 
Undergoes Big Changes 

By Jane M. Porter 

During the last 75 years a major revolution in American 
diets has taken place. We not only eat different foods in 
different amounts but we prepare our food differently. Re- 
search in State Experiment Stations has played an important role 
in this revolution. 

Our forefathers a hundred years ago ate about the same foods 
in the same seasonal rotations and with the same regional varia- 
tions in diets as their ancestors of the Revolutionary War period. 

More than 80 percent of the food calories in their diets were 
from food grains, meats, animal fats (other than butter) , sugars, 
potatoes and mature legumes. Fresh fruits and vegetables were 
eaten in season but they are perishable, and transportation over 
long distances in the absence of refrigeration was impossible. 

Small amounts of fruits and vegetables were made into pre- 
serves and relishes. Some were dried, but only enough to add a 
little variety to the monotonous winter diet. 

In the spring wild greens were eagerly hunted — including 
tender young shoots of dandelion, polk, lamb's-quarters, dock, 
mustard, pigweed, ferns, Russian thistle, meadow cowslips, and 
snow thistles. They were considered a "spring-tonic" which 
would cleanse the blood. These spring greens are excellent sources 
of vitamins A and C, two essential nutrients that were notably 
deficient in winter diets consisting largely of cereals, meats, and 
animal fats. 

Significant changes in the kinds of foods in the family diet took 
place during the first 40 years of the 20th century. Among fac- 
tors contributing to this were shifts in relative food prices, tech- 
nological developments in food transportation and processing, 
nationwide propaganda during World War I for wheatless and 
meatless days, and the dramatic and well publicized discoveries 
of vitamins. 

Jane M. Porter is a Historian in the Agricultural History Group, Economic Research 
Service, USDA. 


During the depression of the 1930's, many families produced most of their 
own food. 

The State Agricultural Experiment Stations were important 
contributors to the new technologies and to research on vitamins. 
Indirectly they had contributed to the changes in the relative 
prices of foods through research which made dry-land farming 
and irrigated farming profitable, through improved varieties and 
means of combating insects and diseases, and through contribu- 
tions to food technology. 

The area in crops expanded relative to the area in pastures and 
grasslands. At the same time population was increasing rapidly. 
Food prices increased, particularly during World War I, but in- 
creases were larger in meat prices than in other food prices. 

Production and consumption of dairy products and eggs was 
increasing, due to experiment station research in animal breed- 
ing, nutrition and disease, and handling and processing of dairy 

The depression years of the 1930's reinforced the trend in die- 
tary changes. Both rural and urban families faced with loss of cash 
income tried to meet part of their food needs from home food 
production. The results of experiment station research on fruits 
and vegetables, backyard poultry flocks, and rabbits for meat 
were widely available in popular bulletins, through Extension 
services, and formed the basis of regular feature articles in news- 
papers and magazines. 


Consumption Index 



U.S., 1910-1970 


(3-year Moving Average; 1967=100) 







Flour -f 













Fats + 

/ \ 
: / \ 

Oils J^ 



t ** 


y />. \ 

















! s 


/ \ 

.••■'"' '*'*■•- 

""•*'** : X 




' \ / 





Dairy ^-/ 









Year 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 I960 1970 

Source: USDA, Food Consumption Prices, Expenditures, ERS Supp. For 1972 to AER No. 138 
All Figures Totals Except Dairy Which Excludes Butter 

World War II brought rationing of sugar, fats, meats and 
canned fruits and vegetables, further directing consumption 
away from these products and towards eggs, milk products, and 
fresh fruits and vegetables. By this time the term "protective 
foods" was popularly applied to these latter foods. 

Nutritionists had worked out dietary standards for families 
at various income levels. These were simplified by organization 
into seven basic food groups which were used in mounting an 
intensive nutrition education program. 

Laboratory scientists had learned to synthesize some vitamins 
during the 1930's. As a wartime measure, refined cereal grains 
were enriched with three B vitamins, iron, and calcium. Oleo- 
margarine was fortified with vitamin A, and milk was fortified 
with vitamin D. 


Food rationing during World War II did not restrict total food 
consumption or decrease the nutritional quality of family diets. 
In fact, with increased income due to full employment and over- 
time work, Americans were eating better than they ever had 

The Problem With Potatoes 

Forty years ago the housewife was completely in the dark in 
purchasing potatoes. Sometimes the potatoes would mash well 
and turn out white and fluffy. Sometimes they would be heavy 
and soggy. In boiling, potatoes often developed brown streaks or 
sloughed off their outer layers. There were no satisfactory chem- 
ical or physical standards for judging the cooking quality of 
potatoes. Neither the variety nor the raw appearance of the 
potato gave any clue. 

Investigators in the State Experiment Stations in Maine, Ver- 
mont, New York, Colorado and Montana during the 1930's re- 
solved many of these problems. 

It was found that sugar content of the potato was a primary 
factor governing its cooking quality. Potatoes stored at tempera- 
tures near freezing retained a high sugar content. When cooked 
the sugar tended to caramelize, causing browning and sogginess. 
Several days storage at room temperature would convert the 
sugar to starch. The remedy: Don't keep potatoes in the refrig- 
erator for several days before cooking. 

Mineral impurities in cooking water were frequent causes of 

Research discoveries that some vitamins were water soluble, 
others were fat soluble, and still others easily destroyed by heat 
led to suspicions that unnecessary nutrient losses were taking 
place in food after it reached the family's kitchen. 

Research on meat cookery began in 1929 at the Missouri Ex- 
periment Station. By 1936, six stations — Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, 
Missouri, Texas and North Dakota — had organized a committee 
on meat cookery. Their studies concluded that low temperature 
roasting of meat resulted in less shrinkage, less loss of nutrients, 
and improved tenderness. 

Meat drippings were found to be high in nutrients and their 
use in soups, sauces, gravies, and stews was recommended. 

Open pan roasting provided the attractive outer browning 
formerly gained by searing at high temperatures. Use of a meat 
thermometer was strongly recommended. This resulted in public 
demand for meat thermometers and open roasting pans. 


A quiet revolution in meat cookery took place as the new 
methods were disseminated through extension agents, stove 
manufacturers, public utilities, magazines, and cookbooks. 

The meat cookery project was soon followed by research on 
cooking of other foods. This was a landmark in experiment sta- 
tion research because it was organized as a national cooperative 
project on the conservation of nutritive values of foods. It was 
first announced in 1941. 

Within three years 46 stations in 45 states were cooperating, 
along with the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Bu- 
reau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics, and the USDA 
vegetable breeding laboratory at Charleston, S.C. In each State 
Experiment Station, several departments were cooperating with 
the home economics department. 

Research soon demonstrated that there was a large loss of vita- 
mins in fruits and vegetables between harvesting and consump- 
tion. The amount of the loss could be greatly reduced by certain 
methods of handling and preparation. 

Immediate and continued refrigeration from harvesting to 
cooking reduced losses. Quick cooking in minimum amounts of 
water helped to conserve vitamins. The cooking water had a high 
vitamin content and should be eaten with the vegetables or used 
in soups, sauces or gravies. Today most people cook vegetables in 
tightly covered saucepans, with only enough water to prevent 

A large volume of basic and applied research was carried 
out under the umbrella of the National Cooperative Project on 
the Conservation of Nutritive Values in foods. Corn in the 
form of cornmeal, grits and hominy supply most of the calories 
of family diets in some parts of the country but processing 
methods denuded them of much of the vitamins, mineral and 
protein content of whole grain corn. 

Experiment station workers in South Carolina developed a 
method of incorporating vitamins and minerals in gelatinized 
ground grits, and reducing this product to particles the size and 
color of commercial products. These were then mixed with the 
regular commercial product as carriers of the enrichment. 

Nutrition educators tried unsuccessfully to teach people to eat 
unpolished brown rice because it contained vitamins, minerals 
and proteins not present in the more highly processed white rice. 
The discovery that the B vitamins dissolved in the cooking water 
of vegetables would be gradually reabsorbed into the vegetable 


Left, good cooks began to use meat thermometers when research demon- 
strated that low temperature cooking of meat reduces shrinkage and produces 
more flavorful roasts. Right, American food variety and abundance at every 
season is envy of most of world. 

tissues afforded basic knowledge for developing processes to 
conserve the nutrients or enrich white rice. The processes have 
been adopted commercially, with resultant products marketed as 
"enriched" rice. 

George III and the Tin Can 

Preservation of food from one season to the next has always 
meant the difference between a full stomach and an empty one. 
The American colonists knew how to preserve food by drying, 
salting, pickling, fermenting and smoking, skills known since the 
dawn of recorded history. Then in 1810 two inventions revolu- 
tionized food processing: (1) Nicholas Appert in France in- 
vented the process of sterilizing foods in airtight containers, 
and (2) a patent for manufacturing a tin can was granted by 
George III in England. Ten years later canning plants were 
operating in the United States. 

Appert's method of processing cans or bottles submerged in 
boiling water was quite satisfactory for fruits and acid vege- 
tables like tomatoes. But there was a high rate of spoilage in corn, 
green beans, green peas and similar vegetables, meat and fish 
canned by this method. Invention of the pressure cooker by 
A. K. Shriver of Baltimore in 1874 enabled canners to process 
foods at temperatures up to 2 50° F instead of 212° F, the boil- 
ing point of water. It greatly reduced losses due to spoilage and 
was in general use by canneries within 20 years. 

The number of canning establishments increased from less 


than 100 in 1870 to 1,800 in 1900. Nevertheless, commercially 
canned food was expensive, not universally available, and con- 
tinued to have a bad reputation for spoilage. 

In seeking to reduce losses and improve the reputation of their 
product, some commercial canners consulted the State Experi- 
ment Stations in the mid-1890's. 

H. L. Russell of the Wisconsin State Experiment Station ob- 
served on examining the records of a green pea cannery that most 
of the spoilage had occurred in batches processed on days when 
the processing time had been less than normal. He was fortunate 
in working with a cannery which had kept records. Many did 
not at that period, and some unscrupulous operators opened and 
reprocessed spoiled cans. 

The problem of the canners was that long processing resulted 
in a product which was not very attractive or appetizing, so 
they tried to minimize processing time. Russell was able to reduce 
spoilage from 5.0 percent to 0.05 percent by increasing pressure 
from 10 to 15 pounds and increasing processing time from 26 
to 28 minutes. 

Concurrent work by the New York State station at Geneva 
produced similar results, and USDA's Office of Experiment Sta- 
tions disseminated the new knowledge to the general public in 
Farmers' Bulletin 73 of 1898. 

This information was helpful to the canning industry, but was 
of no value to the homemaker. She had no pressure cooker and 
had probably never heard of such a thing. She made preserves 
and pickles and canned a few peaches, cherries and tomatoes, 
but did not attempt to can lima beans, string beans, corn, peas, 
or asparagus. 

The homemaker used whatever jars, bottles and stoneware 
were available and could be sealed by corks or paraffin or a com- 
bination of the two. She used the open-kettle method because 
paraffin would not remain in place during a boiling water bath 

More affluent homemakers canned in Mason jars, invented in 
18 58. These were sealed by a rubber gasket and a screw top or by 
a spring clamp and glass lid with a rubber gasket. However, all 
glass was still hand blown and relatively expensive. 

Mechanization of glass blowing in 1903 made possible the mass 
production of glass food containers, greatly reducing the cost of 
Mason jars. Home canning of non-acid vegetables using the 
Appert method soon became widespread. 

Meanwhile, chemists and bacteriologists in the State Experi- 


ment Stations and elsewhere were learning more about yeasts, 
molds and bacteria. It was found that most of these in the growth 
stage were readily destroyed at 212° F, but that in the dormant 
stage (spores) they were much more resistant to heat. 

In 1906 an innovative researcher at the Oregon State Experi- 
ment Station applied this knowledge and devised a system for 
intermittent processing. With this system, processing at lower 
temperatures would kill the active organisms and an interval 
would allow the activation of spores, which would then be killed 
by a second processing period. A third period was added on a third 
day to ensure a complete kill. 

The advantage of this process was that it prevented overcook- 
ing, preserving the product's texture and appearance. This 
method, together with the single stage water-bath process, was 
the standard one recommended by Federal and State extension 
services through World War I. However, by 1917 a small por- 
table pressure cooker-canner of riveted steel or aluminum was 
on the market and this was recommended for meat and fish. 

The water-bath processing methods were so effective in elimi- 
nating spoilage that people became less cautious in using canned 
goods. However, there was one bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, 
widely distributed in soils and harmless in the presence of oxygen, 
which, if it developed in the absence of air, produced a deadly 
toxin. If it was the only surviving bacteria in otherwise sterile 
canned goods there were no warning signs of spoilage. It was 
very resistant to heat, surviving several minutes at even 240° F. 

During the period from 1916 to 1924, numerous cases of 
botulism poisoning occurred in the United States and Europe. 
This triggered extensive research on the problem by public health 
services and public and private experiment stations on both 
sides of the Atlantic. 

Although there were no formally organized regional, national 
or international projects on botulism, researchers from California 
to Scotland and Germany were working on various aspects of 
the subject. Channels of communication through professional 
societies and government agencies such as USDA's Office of 
Experiment Stations were functioning so effectively that re- 
searchers were quickly informed of new knowledge. Within a 
few years following the isolation of Clostridium botulinum,, re- 
searchers in State Agricultural Experiment Stations from Mas- 
sachusetts to California had found its spores in samples of their 

When USDA research workers devised a technology for re- 


Right, thermocouples inside canning jars are checked to insure cooking tem- 
perature high enough so botulism bacilli are destroyed. This also determines 
necessary processing time for home canning of various types of food. Left, can- 
ning tomatoes in improvised boiling water bath. Photos were taken in 1940's. 

cording the temperatures inside cans during processing, research 
workers in State Experiment Stations quickly applied it to proc- 
essing in glass jars. 

USDA began recommending pressure processing for non-acid 
or low-acid vegetables to homemakers in the early 1920's. How- 
ever, water-bath processes continued to be widely used until after 
World War II. Thousands of housewives had successfully canned 
by this method all of their lives. 

The botulin toxin occurred infrequently, under conditions 
where it went undetected until the food was eaten and caused 
illness and death. Cases went unrecognized or unreported so that 
the public was not especially alarmed. Still, many homemakers 
routinely boiled all canned vegetables before serving. Perhaps the 
people who continued to can during the inter-war years were 
thoroughly experienced and attentive to sanitation in the prepa- 
ration and canning of vegetables. 

These circumstances changed abruptly during World War II. 
Thousands of women who had never canned began to can foods 
from "Victory Gardens" or from the market place to supple- 
ment their quota of rationed canned goods. Few owned or had 
access to canning pressure cookers. 

Many agencies, public and private, were giving out conflict- 
ing canning instructions. Although all State colleges recom- 
mended the pressure cooker as the first choice method for canning 
non-acid or low-acid vegetables, some still approved other 
methods. The cases of botulism poisoning that occurred during 
World War II were all traced to home canned food. 

In 1943 USDA issued a warning against tasting food before 
boiling if it was non-acid and had been canned without a pres- 


Right, not all pots that cook with pressure are suited for canning foods. Two pots 
in rear may be used for canning because they have gages that control pressure 
accurately. Pressure saucepan in foreground with 15 -pound pressure control 
is designed for quick cooking and should not be used to can. Left, Louisiana 
nutritionist watches young homemaker demonstrate using a pressure canner 
to preserve green beans. 

sure cooker, or canned in one which had not been tested for ac- 
curacy of pressure. A study of pressure gages by the Nebraska 
State Experiment Station in 1938 had revealed that only 36 per- 
cent of the canners tested had gages accurate with ±0.5 pound. 

Concurrently, intensive research was undertaken by the Mas- 
sachusetts State Experiment Station to determine exact process- 
ing times necessary for all types of foods in various sizes of glass 
containers, types of closures, and sizes and types of pressure 
canners. A little later USDA began research in this field. 

By 1948, new procedures and timetables had been developed 
using all the testing devices previously employed in developing 
procedures for commercial canning. The more precise proce- 
dures made it possible to reduce processing time. The result was 
that the appearance, taste and nutritive values of home-canned 
foods were improved. 

Boil 20 Minutes and Live 

However, home-canning is a precise science and variations 
from recommended procedures, which might occur where in- 


experienced canners begin to preserve the produce of home gar- 
dens, could result in a new outbreak of botulism poisoning from 
home-canned food. The recent experiences of some commercial 
canners, who adopted new technological developments without 
making adequate laboratory checks, should be a warning to 
everyone. The rule is, if in doubt boil 20 minutes before tasting. 

State extension services have bulletins on home canning which 
are available through county agent offices or directly through the 
Extension Service of the State's Land Grant College. 

State Experiment Stations have been responsible for much of 
the research upon which the commercial frozen food industry is 
based. To the extent that new information was applicable to 
home freezing of fruits, vegetables and meats, it has been adapted 
and disseminated. 

The Washington State station began a study in 1936 to deter- 
mine the adaptability of different varieties of vegetables to pre- 
servation by freezing. Frozen food locker plants were becoming 
common in rural areas, and by 1940 a number of stations were 
publishing bulletins on the preparation and packaging of foods 
for frozen storage. At the same time the experiment stations 
began pointing out the need for satisfactory home storage for 
both home processed and commercial frozen foods. 

Refrigerators with across-the-top freezer compartments were 
on the market before World War II stopped the production of 
durable consumer goods. When production was resumed, vir- 
tually all makes featured this improvement. 

Although Americans enjoy the greatest abundance and most 
variety in foods of any people in recorded history, significant 
numbers of us still do not have diets which meet the National Re- 
search Council's "Recommended Dietary Allowances" for nutri- 

Some of us suffer from hidden hunger. We do not eat enough 
foods containing vitamins A, C, some B vitamins, calcium and 
iron. Good sources of these nutrients are green leafy vegetables, 
dark yellow vegetables, citrus, tomatoes, whole grain cereals, milk 
products, eggs, meats and legumes. 

Our diets tend to be too high in fats and sugars. Such diets 
can be contributing factors to obesity, heart and circulatory dis- 
eases, and diabetes. 

Numerous bulletins on food and nutrition, food preparation 
and storage, and family food budgeting are available from county 
home demonstration agents, State Experiment Stations, and 
USDA. Most are free for the asking. 


Lots of Better Things 
For Home Sweet Home 

By Jane M. Porter 

Why do most of the pots and pans made in the United States 
have flat bottoms and straight sides? Because in the 
1930's researchers in the State Experiment Stations of 
Maine and Washington carried on thermal tests with cooking 
utensils and found that such pans with tight-fitting lids made 
the most efficient use of heat in cooking. 

They also found that the ideal material, if it could be en- 
gineered, would be a metal with high conduction for the bottom 
and a metal that was noncorrosive for the sides and interior. In- 
dustry did the rest by fusing copper and stainless steel. 

Little research in home economics was carried on in the State 
Experiment Stations before 1925. Any such research was labeled 
Agricultural Engineering or Nutrition. The Illinois Station, for 
example, completed a five-year study of septic tanks in 1926. 
West Virginia published a bulletin on Farm Water Supply and 
Sewage Disposal Systems the same year, and New Jersey was 
engaged in extensive work in farm sewage disposal at the same 

These studies established scientific data on the functioning of 
septic tanks and the most effective sizes and shapes. They pro- 
vided the basis for formulating standards so that industry could 
mass produce components, and health departments Could set 

The Purnell Act of 1925 authorizing additional Federal funds 
for research in State Agricultural Experiment Stations speci- 
fically mentioned home economics research as one of the fields to 
be pursued. The year before the act, only four stations had re- 
search projects in home economics. The next year 36 stations 

Jane M. Porter is a Historian in the Agricultural History Group, Economic Research 
Service, USDA. 


E ^^^^^ ■ 

3b AfcU 

Above, portable respirometer used to 
measure energy expended on various 
household tasks. In this 1950's experi- 
ment, woman places pan in oven at 
many different heights, and energy for 
each height is recorded. Height which 
requires least exertion is best for the 
homemaker. Top right, stove or "cook- 
ing center" typical of those used in 
1920's. Note table, which possibly as 
result of research has been elevated to 
proper height for homemaker, making 
her work less fatiguing. Right, modern 
kitchen. Range has continuous-clean 
oven panels. 

had home economics projects and the stations had 65 new em- 
ployees in home economics. The 20 years following the Purnell 
Act produced a revolution in American homes. 

Studies of women's movements in cooking, washing dishes 
and ironing revealed that traditional cabinet, table and ironing 
board heights were all wrong — producing excessive fatigue and 
contributing to poor posture. 

Research at the North Dakota, Washington, Oregon, Indiana 
and Vermont stations led to the planning of kitchens and the de- 
velopment of specifications so that cabinets, countertops, etc., 
could be mass produced as components for kitchens. 

The pantry, and the "hoosier" cabinet of the turn of the cen- 


Hoosier cabinets were miracles of 
convenience for homemakers. They 
provided a work area, storage, and 
usually a flour bin and sifter. 

tury, became obsolete. The kitchen stove — whether wood, coal, 
kerosene, gas or electric — received a lot of research attention from 
stations in Indiana, Virginia, Nebraska, Maine and Kansas. It was 
found that many kerosene, electric and gas stoves were very in- 
efficient users of energy. New designs for burners, for enclosures 
around burners, for ovens and for insulation were developed. 
These were quickly adopted by industry and incorporated into 
new models in the middle 1930's. 

Similarly, studies on refrigeration were undertaken by numer- 
ous State stations, resulting not only in improved design and ef- 
ficiency but in changes in homemaker practices. For example, 
the thrifty housewife used to cover the block of ice in her icebox 
with old newspapers to conserve ice. Experiment station re- 
search at Rhode Island and Indiana stations demonstrated that 
while this saved the ice it did not save the food. 

In 1930, President Hoover called a National Conference on 
Home Building and Home Ownership. Experiment station work- 
ers served as chairmen of the Home Furnishings and Decoration 
Committee (Cornell), and Kitchens and other Work Centers 
(Wisconsin) Committees. 

Results of experiment station research were presented in many 
. papers and embodied in the reports and recommendations of com- 
mittees. The conference produced an upsurge of interest in 
housing and probably stimulated the first national survey of 
housing, conducted in 1934. This was financed by the Civil 
Works Administration, and carried out under the direction of 


the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with the coopera- 
tion of the State Experiment Stations. 

Dangers to Health 

The survey revealed that in some rural areas over 3 percent of 
the homes had sanitary arrangements that were a danger to 
health. An analysis of the 1934 housing survey in Iowa, carried 
out by the Iowa Station, revealed that one house in five had a 
bathroom, one in four had cold water piped into the house, one 
in eight had piped hot water, and one in two had a kitchen sink 
with a drain. Few homes had screened doors and windows; almost 
none were insulated. 

These data provided the impetus for designing sanitary out- 
houses, followed by a campaign by State extension services to see 
that every home was provided with a sanitary outhouse. As a re- 
sult of the interest of the wife of the U. S. President in this cam- 
paign, such facilities were sometimes called "Eleanors." A similar 
campaign was carried out to get families to install screening, at 
least in the kitchen. 

The 1934 survey and subsequent research revealed that new 
housing in rural areas was usually not much better and some- 
times inferior to older housing. The Experiment Stations rec- 
ognized that there was a need for suitable plans at various cost 
levels, for minimum standards, and for the testing of construc- 
tion materials. 

Under the Research and Marketing Act of 1946, USDA's 
Agricultural Research Service coordinated the first Nation-wide 
survey of the kind and extent of activities in farm homes, and 
farm families' preferences in housing facilities. Forty-three State 
Experiment Stations cooperated in this study, which provided the 
basic research data on space requirements in homes. These were 
then translated into graphic standards for the use of architects 
and families. 

During the 1920's, a large percentage of families in towns and 
cities were sending laundry to commercial laundries. Economists 
were predicting that home laundry functions, like spinning and 
weaving, were destined to be displaced in rural as well as urban 

Laundry was about the heaviest work of the rural housewife. 
A Nebraska study revealed that the average distance water was 
carried for laundry use was 62.5 feet, and that it took 46 min- 


utes to carry enough water to do the family wash. In the absence 
of electricity on most farms, human muscle power cranked the 
wringer and perhaps a washing machine as well. 

Lightening the Workload 

Rural electrification was the only practical way to lighten the 
workload of the rural homemaker. Many stations — including 
Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Nebraska, Missouri and Michigan — had 
projects on developing unit electric plants for farms and for 
making the extension of central station power to rural areas 
economically feasible. 

Testing of washing machines of various designs for efficiency in 
cleaning and wear on clothing was carried out by Washington, 
Indiana, and other stations. 

Tests of electric irons at the Virginia station demonstrated 
that 1,000 watts capacity was necessary for maintaining a con- 
stant ironing temperature. They also showed that lightweight 
irons were as effective as heavier ones, and that temperature con- 
trols should be marked according to the kind of fabric to be 
ironed. These recommendations have all become standard in the 
appliance manufacturing industry. 

In the 1920's, textiles and clothing were almost unexplored 
fields of research. The Texas Experiment Station was the first to 
establish a well-equipped textiles laboratory, and it retained lead- 
ership in this field for many years. In 193 5 only a few stations had 

Left, Fadeometer used in Ohio research projects on textiles, testing fabrics for 
color fastness to sunlight. Right, a flexible automatic washer provides precise 
amount of water needed for any size load, from big 18-pound dry load to 
just a single item. 


adequate equipment for textile research. Before World War II, 
water-repellency, mildew resistance and wrinkle proofing were 
unknown. Most fabrics could be expected to shrink in use and 
laundering. The Research and Marketing Act of 1946 provided 
funds that greatly stimulated textile research. 

In conjunction with textile research, the stations carried out 
research on the effects of various kinds of water and laundry 
materials on fabrics. When industry produced the first synthetic 
detergents in the 193 O's, the stations tested them in various kinds 
of water and on various fabrics. 

It was found that synthetic detergents eliminated the problem 
of soap-curd, a chemical reaction that created serious laundry 
problems in hard-water regions of the country. Synthetic deter- 
gents caused no more wear on garments than soap. These find- 
ings encouraged industry to market the new detergents. 

Collection and analysis of body measurements for women and 
children completed in 1941 provided the basis for developing a 
practical and scientific system of sizing garments and patterns. 
This research was a national project carried out by the State Ex- 
periment Stations in cooperation with USDA. 

The proposal for improved sizing of garments was accepted 
by the several branches of the apparel industry and served as the 
basis for the development of Commercial Standards of the U. S. 
Department of Commerce. They have been used as a guide by 
research workers in European countries. 

Research in most of these areas continues as the changing life- 
styles of families and new technologies create ever changing and 
developing needs. We are indebted to the State Experiment Sta- 
tions in some degree for most of the comforts and conveniences 
we take for granted. 


New Sciences Spring Up 
To Create Food "Miracles" 

By Emil M. Mrak 

Tremendous gains in food quality, and in freeing the house- 
wife from long hours of drudgery preparing food in the 
home, have resulted from whole new fields of research that 
have sprung up within the lifetime of many present day Ameri- 

Preservation of food, such as it was, goes back many, many 
years in the history of man. For example, cave men are said to 
have preserved meat inadvertently by drying and smoking while 
hanging it over fire. Likewise, fermentation has long been in use 
for producing beverages and preserving certain foods — as in 
pickling. Use of salt as a preservative is lost in antiquity, too. 

On the other hand, sterilization to preserve food is relatively 
new in man's history. It goes back only about 100 years to the 
time when Napoleon offered a prize to the person who would 
develop a new and better method of preservation. As a result, 
Appert used heat to sterilize food and then packed it in hermet- 
ically sealed containers, or in other words, developed the can- 
ning process as we know it today. 

The great concern, of course, was only that food be pre- 
served. Retention of the fine qualities of food, involving edibility, 
satisfaction and nutritive value, remained to be considered and 
studied by food scientists years later — and in fact mostly since 
the end of World War II. 

As recently as 60 years ago, and prior to the development of 
modern and sophisticated means of handling and preservation, 
much of our food was distributed in bulk containers. There were 
relatively few small containers and the number available was 
meager, as compared with today's grocery store, which may well 
handle 8,000 or more individual items in small packaging. 

Emil M. Mrak is Chancellor Emeritus at the University of California, Davis. 


Common items were flour, sugar, dried fruits, smoked and 
salted meats and fish, dried products including fish, cereals and 
cereal products, legumes, fermented foods such as sauerkraut and 
pickles, coffee, and pastes. 

Good and tasty fresh milk was a rarity. There were, of course, 
other dairy products, especially cheeses. 

Fresh fruits and vegetables were not abundant so there was a 
stimulus for the development of food canning and freezing in- 
dustries. Little, if any, consideration was given to factors which 
are so important to today's consumer, such as the acceptability 
of flavor, color, texture, convenience, nutritive value, safety, 
esthetics and diversity. 

Changes in these areas started to take place following World 
War I and increased after World War II, side by side with the 
evolution of the field of food science and technology — a rela- 
tively new field of activity for Agricultural Experiment Sta- 
tions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) , and indus- 
try. The greatest changes have taken place during the last 30 

During this period great changes also have occurred in our 
style of living. For example, there has been a huge movement of 
people from farms to the cities. As a result, a large part of our 
population has lost contact with farm production, home pres- 
ervation of food, and a knowledge of what can reasonably be 
expected of fresh or processed foods. 

Pressure has been placed on processors and distributors to im- 
prove food in line with the consumer's preferences. But this was 
a very complex matter, requiring the skills and imagination of 
well trained food scientists, as well as laboratories and equip- 
ment. Such needs required a change in the philosophy and point 
of view of those experimenting with foods. 

Early efforts of food scientists were concerned to a large extent 
with processing new varieties of fruits and vegetables, preventing 
spoilage, criteria of quality, utilization of surpluses, use of freez- 
ing as a method of preservation, the swelling of cans of certain 
pigmented fruits such as cherries and prunes, softening of cucum- 
bers during pickling, and development of new products, such 
as canned fruit cocktail, fruit nectars, and various types of other 

As time went on, however, the emphases changed and the re- 
search effort became more sophisticated to meet the needs and 


Top left, motor store of 1920's. Top right, old-fashioned grocery store. Center, 
unrefrigerated meat in turn-of-century Minnesota meat market. Bottom, mod- 
ern supermarket. 


Louisiana food technologist checks 
canning quality of newly-developed 
yam variety with high resistance to 
soil rot. Jasper variety was found bet- 
ter for canning or baking than major 
variety now being produced. Jasper 
will make production possible on 
thousands of acres abandoned by 
Louisiana growers because of soil rot 

wants of the consumer and his desire to improve his quality of 

This, of course, has meant not only better and more accept- 
able foods, but also the transfer of an enormous amount of labor 
from the home kitchen to the processing plant. There has, in- 
deed, been a revolution insofar as freeing the housewife from 
hours and hours of labor in the home. 

No longer, for example, is it necessary for the housewife to 
bake her own bread, make her own cakes and pies, can her own 
fruits and vegetables, peel her own potatoes, pluck her own 
chickens, spend hours in preparing, salting and smoking her home 
grown meat, and making meat products such as sausage for fu- 
ture use. This removal of labor from the home to the factory 
has enabled the present day housewife to be free to do other 

To consider and fulfill the desires and wants of the consumer, 
it was necessary to study a number of factors. These may be 
categorized as esthetics, acceptability, utility or convenience, 
stability or shelf life, safety, nutritive value, and cost. Such con- 
siderations may involve the improvement of old products or 
processes, or the development of new products or processes. 


Right, in Nebraska research project, low priced cuts and scraps of pork are 
frozen, flaked, then formed into "logs" which are cut into identical sized 
servings. Left, flaked and formed pork not only is tasty, it also has eye appeal 
when cooked . 

First and above all is the acceptability factor of food. This in- 
volves such things as taste and flavor, appearance, texture, feel, 
and crispness. 

Retention of flavor during processing, storage, distribution, 
and use is not always easy to accomplish; great advances have 
been made along these lines with the result that today we have 
more flavorful foods than ever before. To accomplish these ad- 
vances, the food scientist had to learn about the chemical and 
physical characteristics of many of the thousands of chemicals 
that make up the pleasant quality we term flavor. The flavor 
quality depends on the raw materials, their processing, and the 
handling of the processed product. 

Taste Panels 

Prior to World War II, little effort was directed toward flavor 
and taste testing of a product, whether it was fresh or preserved. 
Today, just about every experiment station, USDA, and industry 
use highly trained taste specialists in the laboratory and also con- 
sumer taste panels. 

The second acceptability factor of great importance to the 
consumer and, of course, to the food scientist, is color. Whether 
we are willing to admit it or not, color and appearance are 
significant in the acceptability of food. 

Strange as it may seem, color seems to enable the consumer to 
better appreciate the flavor of a product. As an example, an off- 


Hams are tested for weight losses and tenderness during commercial proc- 
essing, in Georgia-USDA research project. Here, temperature probes are 
put in place to insure temperature control. 

color strawberry jelly seems to be less flavorful, even when forti- 
fied with flavor, than a product with an attractive strawberry 
color. In other words, there is a correlation between acceptability 
and color and flavor. 

The third factor in acceptability is texture. We prefer that 
our meats be tender, our canned fruits and vegetables retain 
their characteristic form but not be fibrous, too firm or too soft. 
Certain products should have certain characteristics relating to 
texture, and great improvements have been made in processed 
foods along these lines. For example, by adding a small amount 
of calcium chloride, a harmless chemical, to canned whole toma- 
toes, good texture and form can be retained. 

Over the years methods for measuring texture have been de- 
veloped for all types of plant and animal products which en- 
abled the food scientist to conduct studies and make improve- 
ments. Toughness, for example, is an important factor in meat 
texture. Studies of factors involved in the texture of meat has 
enabled the marketing of products with textures desired by the 

One need only travel outside the United States to realize how 


superior our foods are from the standpoint of texture to those 
provided elsewhere. 

Feel of a product in the mouth is also a significant factor in 
acceptability. Peanut butter, for example, should have a desir- 
able type of tackiness (stickiness) that is neither oily or pasty. 

Noise indicating crispness likewise is important in products 
such as potato chips, celery, and nuts. To retain this desirable 
quality it has been necessary to develop special packaging and 
methods of handling in order to prevent moisture absorption by 
items such as potato chips, or on the other hand loss of moisture 
by fresh products such as celery. 

The Pain Factor 

At times the food scientist must consider the pain factor in 
certain foods and this is particularly true of the so-called hot 
foods such as chili. It has been necessary to determine, for ex- 
ample, what part of the chili pepper and what types of peppers 
are involved in causing pain, how much a certain population 
desires, and so on. 

As a matter of fact, on the market today are a diversity of 
pain producing foods and the consumer can purchase a product 
with the level of "heat" he desires. Control of this factor has 
involved a great deal of research and this came about as a result 
of the consumer's desires — some being mild, some medium, and 
some extremely "hot". 

Other factors are involved in acceptability but those discussed 
above serve as examples of the complications and research in- 
volved in responding to the consumer's wants and desires. 

During the past 20 years many convenience foods with a high 
utility value appeared on the market. These added greatly to our 
quality of life, for they do indeed minimize in many instances 
hours of labor in the home kitchen. Furthermore, in some in- 
stances they minimized kitchen failures. For example, most any- 
one should be able to make an angel food cake today by using 
cake mix. 

Then again, no longer is it necessary to cut oranges in half, 
squeeze the juice out and then dispose of the waste, for today 
frozen orange juice concentrate is available. There also are such 
things as instant tea and coffee, instant mashed potatoes, and 
brown-and-serve biscuits. These take a tremendous amount of 
drudgery out of the home ; they enable the consumer to have con- 


Illinois food scientist and student. 

venience and diversity in food with a minimum of effort and a 
maximum of product quality. 

If one surveys the grocery store today he finds a vast variety of 
dried, frozen, refrigerated, and canned convenience and prepared 
foods. They have all involved a great amount of research effort 
on the part of the food scientist, without which we would still be 
eating the bulk foods of a few years ago. 

When the food scientist develops a product that is highly ac- 
ceptable and convenient, he also must consider its stability or 
shelf life. Any product that deteriorates rapidly while in storage, 
in transit, on the consumer's shelf, or in his refrigerator is 
useless. The factor of stability, therefore, must be considered for 
every change made or new product developed. For example, it is 
common not to find rancidity occurring in fat-containing prod- 
ucts such as cookies, nuts, shortening, and sausages. 

Food research on fats and oils has enabled the inclusion of cer- 
tain chemicals, termed antioxidants, which prevent or retard 
this type of fat deterioration. 

There are those who indicate they would much rather have 
the materials free of these so-called antioxidants, but it is very 
doubtful if they would accept the repulsive odors and tastes of 
rancid fats. Furthermore, some believe that the products of 
rancidification are toxic, whereas the chemicals used to prevent 
rancidification have been approved as safe by the Food and Drug 


Right, cheese curing room at University 
of California. Top, California winery. 

Another type of deterioration is the so-called "browning re- 
action" which occurs in highly concentrated foods such as sirups, 
dried fruits (particularly dried apricots, peaches and pears), 
and even in certain cereal and baked products. 

During World War II an enormous amount of effort was de- 
voted to the prevention and understanding of this type of 
deterioration which involves a change in some of the important 
carbohydrate materials, and frequently a loss of nutrients, tex- 
ture and edibility. It was a particularly significant problem dur- 
ing the war because so many concentrated foods were shipped 

Sometimes, however, this browning process is desired for the 
improvement of flavor and appearance. For example, we pre- 
fer the browned appearance and taste of toast and some people 
brown rice in the oven prior to boiling in water in order to obtain 
a "nutty" taste. When used in processed foods, the degree of 
browning is carefully controlled. 

Changes also can occur in physical properties, such as the 
gelling properties of certain powders or concentrates. During 
World War II, dehydrated cranberries which were shipped over- 
seas failed to rehydrate and gel satisfactorily because of deteriora- 
tive processes that took place while the cranberries were stored 
under adverse conditions. Today we know more about these 
degrading processes and how to prevent them. 

Another deteriorative process known as the retrogradation of 


Fats and oils are stored in tanks holding 29 million pounds at this California 
port terminal. 

starch results in changes that the consumer may categorize as 
staling. This can occur in baked products, dehydrated potato 
flakes and powder, and other products rich in starch. 

A great deal has been learned about this process and methods of 
preventing it. As a result, the consumer is seldom exposed today 
to products that have gone stale. 

Quite often, loss of flavor can take place during storage. 
Canned fruits, for example, may be rich with fruity flavors when 
first packed. But if they are stored at undesirable and higher tem- 
peratures, the flavor component may decrease. With good han- 
dling after packing this loss of flavor is minimized. 

Other forms of deterioration of foods involve microbial spoil- 
age caused by yeast, bacteria and mold. Rarely do we see products 
undergoing this type spoilage anymore. 

The most important aspects of this type of deterioration to- 
day involve organisms that produce toxic substances, particularly 
the bacteria that produce Botulinus and a number of molds 
that can produce the so-called anatoxins which are carcinogenic 
(producing or tending to produce cancer). 

As a result of intensive work in experiment stations, USDA, 
industrial laboratories and the Public Health Service, the oc- 
currence of Botulinus was eliminated in this country except for 


a very few occurrences. Steps have now been taken to assure com- 
plete elimination of the organism and its toxin. 

Unique and important control procedures were developed to 
eliminate products that might be contaminated with anatoxin 
producing mold. One such procedure involves the use of ultra- 
violet light to reveal the presence on shelled peanuts of a toxin- 
producing mold. 

Insect infestation is another type of deterioration. At one time, 
flour, cereal, baked products, and dried fruits were quite fre- 
quently infested with insects. Improved packaging, fumigation 
and controlled storage conditions have pretty well eliminated 
such contamination. 

Esthetics involves freedom from dirt, filth, and evidence of 
rodent and bird contamination. The use of modern sanitation 
equipment and chemicals, the maintenance of clean processing 
plants, premises and storages, and the use of improved packag- 
ing has virtually eliminated these contaminants. 

Preserving Nutrients 

Preservation of nutrients has received serious consideration 
by food scientists and experiment stations for many years. Han- 
dling raw materials, processing, storage, and distribution of 
processed products all affect the retention of nutrient qualities. 

Nutrients involve not only various vitamins, but also cer- 
tain mineral elements. The latter can be related to production 
in the field, but some might be lost during processing. Accord- 
ingly, process procedures today are used to minimize such losses. 
Vitamins, on the other hand, may decrease not only during proc- 
essing, but also during subsequent handling. 

Most of the processed food produced and distributed today 
has a high level of vitamin retention. In many instances, the 
retention of nutrients in processed foods is even higher than in 
fresh produce handled improperly. 

Today nutritional labeling is in vogue, so some processors are 
indicating on the labels the nutritional values of their products. 
Such label information can only be based on a large number of 
analyses and in some instances has involved thousands of samples 
and very high expenditures. As nutritional labeling becomes more 
commonplace it is of increasing advantage to the consumer. 

Studies on the enrichment of certain foods has led to vitamin 
and mineral enrichment of bakery items. Research on the pos- 


sibility of including iron and enriching other foods is now under- 

Safety has already been discussed with respect to Botulinus 
and anatoxins but there are other bacterial infections such as 
staphylococcus and streptococcus that have been extensively 
studied with respect to their control and the assurance of a safe 
food supply. 

There are natural toxins such as ciguitera poison in certain 
fish, red tide organisms in certain clams, mussel poisoning, and 
a number of plant poisons that food scientists have eliminated in 
processed foods. 

A great deal has been said about the occurrence of pesticides 
in foods. Some experiment stations have established research 
facilities to study the pesticide problem, not only from the stand- 
point of residues, tolerances and safety, but also in relation to the 
fate of these chemicals under various environmental conditions. 

The Food and Drug Administration recently indicated that 
the areas of pesticides and food additives have received so much 
attention and study by all agencies that they have given a lower 
priority of concern to these chemicals than to microbial prob- 
lems, nutritional labeling, and environmental contamination. 

Food scientists also are concerned with cost, and accordingly 
experimentation directed toward the improvement of quality 
may well result in the reduction of cost. 

Minimizing Pear Losses 

For example, it was observed that if pears are harvested at 
specific stages of maturity, placed in a cold room at about 40° F 
for a period of time, and then brought into a maturation cham- 
ber at 80° to 90° F, all the fruit ripens at the same time with the 
result that losses from underripe or overripe pears are minimized. 

When this procedure was first developed, it resulted in reduc- 
tion of the cost of canned pears to such an extent that cost bene- 
fits could be and were passed on to the consumer. 

Other procedures decreasing costs — besides processing — have 
been found in labor saving devices, in minimizing waste, and in 
improving utilization. 

Many new products have appeared on the market since World 
War II. Some of these are convenience foods but others are en- 
tirely new and designed to meet the needs of our changing way 
of life and food habits. These cover the entire range of foods 
from meat products to canned fruits and vegetables. 


Today there is so much concern about the environment that 
food scientists have found it necessary to consider utilization of 
waste products, and improved disposal methods, in order to pre- 
vent land and water contamination. This is a tremendous area 
and has resulted in improvement in the quality of life though 
at times it has been quite costly. 

Ways With Whey 

For example, disposal of whey, which is waste in the manu- 
facture of cottage cheese, is causing increasing difficulties for 

Large producers can afford equipment costing half a million 
dollars to dry the whey so it can be sold as a feed protein. But 
the equipment is too costly for small plants. Thus they may be 
forced out of business if they cannot meet environmental stand- 
ards requiring whey to be pretreated before disposal in sewers or 

The Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station is seeking 
new low-cost methods to convert whey into a protein feed, leav- 
ing the remaining whey clean enough for disposal. Scientists have 
found that yeast similar to that used in making bread or beer 
can break down the whey. The yeast uses the milk sugar and con- 
verts it into an edible protein. 

Simple equipment already available in most plants can be used 
in the process. It usually requires about 12 hours to decompose 
consistently from 80 to 98 percent of the waste in laboratory 

As a result of the contributions of scientists we are eating 
more flavorful, safer, and diversified goods, easier to prepare and 
more nutritious and sanitary, than ever before. An amazing 
number of foods is available the year around at a lower part of 
our disposable income than any place else in the world. Much 
has been accomplished in a rather short period of time and the 
final result has been a greatly improved quality of life. 


High Altitude Cooking, Baking: 
Some Tips for the Housewife 

By Klaus Lorenz 

Cooking and baking processes are affected by atmospheric 
pressure, as women of families settling in the high altitude 
region of the United States have found out. They dis- 
covered that it took considerably longer to cook such staples as 
potatoes and beans and that their favorite cake recipes, well 
balanced for use at sea level, produced cakes which would rise too 
high in the oven and then flow over the top of the pan. 

The difference in atmospheric pressure is the cause of all these 
difficulties. As altitude increases, the air pressure becomes less. 
This has to be compensated for. Just as the pressure of water is 
greatest at the bottom of the sea and becomes lighter near its sur- 
face, so does the pressure of the atmosphere decrease as elevation 

Problems in high altitude food preparation are encountered in 
many states. Some states and cities where adjustments due to 
elevation have to be made are given in the table on page 283. 

This high altitude region comprises more than one-third of 
the United States geographically. Although these areas are 
sparsely populated, about 15 million people make their home 

Problems of high altitude food preparation have been studied 
for many years at Colorado State University. The equipment and 
the laboratory which make these investigations of the effects of 
altitude possible are shown in a photograph with this chapter. 
The laboratory itself is a steel cylinder seven feet in diameter and 
nine feet high. It can be ventilated and the temperature and hu- 
midity controlled. 

Atmospheric pressure inside this laboratory can be adjusted 
and maintained to simulate altitudes between sea level and 12,000 

Klaus Lorenz is Associate Professor, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, 
Colorado State University, Fort Collins. 


. li 

i^U ^**" — Lb 

/ 1 


High altitude chamber used for 
Colorado studies on the effects of at- 
mospheric pressure in food prepara- 

The laboratory is equipped to conduct baking and cooking 
experiments at different elevations. This not only helps people in 
the high altitude region of the United States, but also makes it 
possible to respond to the many requests for information which 
are received every year from countries located in the high altitude 
regions of South America, Asia and Africa. 

Essentially, three types of problems have to be considered when 
preparing foods at high elevations: 

• The greater expansion of leavening gases which affects all 
baking processes 

• The difference in temperature at which water boils, which 
affects both baking and cooking 

• The faster rate of evaporation of moisture from foods at 
reduced atmospheric pressures 

So Cakes Won't Fall 

Since air pressure is less at higher elevations, the leavening gas 
in a cake batter expands more. So a correspondingly smaller 
weight of carbon dioxide or other leavening gas is required to 
perform the same amount of leavening as the atmospheric pres- 
sure decreases. 

This applies to all baked products whether they are leavened 
with carbon dioxide, as in the case of cakes, baking powder bis- 
cuits, muffins, and quick breads; or with air, as in angel food and 
sponge cakes; or with steam, as in popovers and cream puffs. 


Angel food cakes baked at 5,000 feet. 
Cake on left was baked from recipe ad- 
justed for altitude. Cake at right was 
baked from a sea level recipe. 

High Altitude Table of Cities and Towns 







New Mexico 

South Dakota 









Colorado Springs 




Fort Collins 








Idaho Falls 








North Platte 


Scotts Bluff 






Las Vegas 


Sante Fe 


Rapid City 




El Paso 




Salt Lake City 









A cake's structure is very delicate, and increased pressure 
resulting from additional expansion of the carbon dioxide within 
the cells causes them to expand too much. This makes the grain 
of the cake coarse, or, if the cells are expanded still more, they 
will rupture and a fallen cake will result. 

Liquid in a cake batter also evaporates more rapidly at higher 
elevations, causing the dissolved sugar in the cake batter to be- 
come more concentrated. Excessive sugar weakens the structure 
of the cell walls of a cake. Thus, reducing the sugar, and/or 
increasing the liquid slightly, provides stronger cake cell walls 
which are less likely to collapse. 

Generally, no changes in formulation are required up to an 
elevation of approximately 2,500 feet. A cake recipe adjustment 
guide for elevations higher than 2,500 feet is given in a second 

Cake Recipe Adjustment Guide for High Altitudes 

Adjustment 3,000 feet 5,000 feet 7,000 feet 

Reduce baking powder 
For each tsp., 
decrease 1/8 tsp. 1/8-1/4 tsp. 1/4 tsp. 

Reduce sugar 
For each cup, 
decrease 0-1 tbsp. 0-2 tbsp. 1-3 tbsp. 

Increase liquid 
For each cup, 
add 1-2 tbsp. 2-4 tbsp. 3-4 tbsp. 

These suggestions for adjustment shown in the second table 
have been established through baking experiments with many 
different recipes at different elevations. But contrary to popular 
opinion, there are no set rules for modifying a cake recipe for 
higher elevations. Needed changes depend on the type of cake 
and relationship of the ingredients to each other. Quite fre- 
quently the proper recipe adjustments have to be worked out 
by trial and error using the suggestions in the second table as a 
starting point. 

With biscuits, muffins, and quick breads, the baking powder 
may be decreased slightly, but structure of the products is such 
that it generally will stand the increased internal pressure at 


higher elevations quite well. Cookies usually do not need adjust- 
ments for altitude, although a slight reduction in baking powder 
and sugar may improve them. 

Cake doughnuts made from sea level recipes are frequently 
cracked, too high in fat absorption, and too compact and dark. 
To remedy this, decrease the leavening, sugar and fat. 

Angel Food and Breads 

In angel food cakes the leavening agent is air. At higher eleva- 
tions the amount of air beaten into the batter will expand to a 
larger volume than at sea level and, therefore, less air is needed. 
Sugar in the recipe also should be reduced, and a higher baking 
temperature for a shorter time will generally give better results. 

Cakes baked at 7,500 or 10,000 feet do not brown as much 
and as rapidly as cakes baked at sea level at the same oven tem- 
perature. Caramelization of sugar in the cake recipe is responsible 
for crust color formation and depends upon the temperature. 
The faster rate of evaporation at higher elevations causes a drop 
in temperature in the cake crust. 

This temperature drop continues until the heat absorbed by 
water evaporation is equal to the heat transferred to the crust. 
The lower the atmospheric pressure, the lower the crust tem- 
perature. That accounts for the recommendation to increase the 
baking temperature to compensate for the reduction in crust 
temperature caused by evaporation. 

For popovers, the amount of egg in the dough should be in- 
creased and the shortening reduced. This makes a stronger batter 
which will be able to retain the steam long enough for a crust to 
form. Popovers made by sea level recipes lose the steam too 
rapidly, both by expansion and evaporation, and turn out more 
like muffins. 

A cream puff batter, being rather heavy, holds the steam well 
and does not require any corrections for altitude. 

Baking of bread is affected by altitude just as the baking of 
cakes and sweet goods. However, fewer changes in the recipe, 
dough preparation and dough handling are required to adopt a 
bread recipe for baking at reduced atmospheric pressures. 

Bread doughs rise more rapidly at high altitudes and may be- 
come overfermented or overproofed if not watched carefully. 
Less yeast may be used. However, most bakers and many house- 
wives in the high altitude region prefer to decrease dough 
fermentation and proofing times rather than reducing the yeast. 


Because flour dries out faster at high altitudes, it may be neces- 
sary to use more liquid to compensate for this loss and make the 
dough the proper consistency. 

When a liquid is heated, vapor begins to form. The bubbles of 
vapor, being lighter than the liquid, rise upward, but they can- 
not reach the surface until the pressure within each bubble just 
exceeds the atmospheric pressure on the liquid's surface. 

Temperature at which bubbles reach the surface and break is 
known as the boiling point. This is the temperature at which 
pressure of the saturated vapor within the liquid is equal to the 
outside atmospheric pressure on the surface of the liquid. 

Since at high altitudes the atmospheric pressure is less, the pres- 
sure of the vapor necessary for the liquid to boil is less and 
will be reached at a lower temperature. For this reason, liquids 
boil at lower temperatures at high altitudes. Lowering of the 
boiling point of water amounts to about 1.9° F for each 1,000 
feet increase in altitude, as seen in the table. 

Boiling Temperatures of Water at Various Altitudes 

Altitude Boiling point of water 

(feet) Degrees F Degrees C 


Time and Tenderness 

Foods cooked in boiling water require a longer cooking time 
to become tender. It is difficult to give any definite cooking 
rules for vegetables since even with the same kind of vegetables, 
there are so many variations in size, variety, stage of maturity, 
and so on. In general, the time must be increased from 4 to 1 1 per 
cent per 1,000 feet, depending on the vegetable. 

Eggs and meat, such as stews and pot roasts, must also be 
cooked for an increasingly longer period with higher altitude. 

A pressure cooker is a great convenience at high altitudes for 
cooking meats, beans, and other vegetables which require rela- 
tively long cooking. By increasing the pressure, the tempera- 


Sea Level 










ture at which water boils is raised and the food is cooked more 

However, the steam within the pressure cooker is also affected 
by the altitude. Boiling temperature of the water inside at 15 
pounds pressure is not as high at 5,000 feet as it is at sea level. 

To reach the same temperature, the pressure must be increased 
about 1 pound for each 2,000 feet of elevation. For example, at 
5,000 feet a pressure of 17.5 pounds will give the same internal 
temperature as 1 5 pounds at sea level. If the pressure cooker has 
a gage graduated in 1 -pound divisions, such an adjustment can be 
made easily. 

Unfortunately, the gages of some pressure cookers do not go 
above 15 pounds; when using them, it may be necessary to 
lengthen the time given for cooking a particular food. An in- 
crease of 1 to 2 minutes is sufficient for most vegetables. Beets, 
whole potatoes, and sweet potatoes require about 5 minutes longer 
at 5,000 ft. 

Canning is another phase of food preparation which is affected 
by the lower boiling temperature of water at high altitudes. The 
time needed to process fruits and acid vegetables in a hot water 
bath should be lengthened with increasing altitude. 

Add one-half pound to the gage pressure for each additional 
1,000 feet in altitude, as illustrated in the table below. 

Steam Pressure at Different Elevations 




Steam pressure (pounds) 
at an altitude of 





























With this increase in pressure, the sea level processing times 
may be used satisfactorily. 

Lowering of the boiling point because of high altitude also 
causes difficulty in making candy and frosting. If the old-fash- 
ioned cold water test is used (soft ball, hard ball, crack, and so 
on) , the candy will be cooked to the proper consistency. 

However, in recent years the candy thermometer has come into 


widespread use since it is more exact and not subject to varia- 
tions of individual judgment. It must be remembered that at 
high altitudes a sugar solution, like water, boils at a lower tem- 
perature. If sea-level directions are followed, the sirup will be 
too concentrated by the time the prescribed temperature is 
reached, and the resulting candy or frosting will be too hard. 

Better results are obtained if for each 1,000 feet of altitude, 
the temperature is lowered 1.9° F. If desired, before making the 
candy, the exact boiling point of water may be determined, and 
the difference between it and 212° F subtracted from the tem- 
perature called for in the recipe. For example, if the boiling 
point of water at 5,000 feet on a particular day is 202.5°; then 
212° — 202.5° = 9.5° is the correction. Suppose the tempera- 
ture for fondant at sea level is 239°. In this case 239° — 9.5° = 
229.5°, which is the temperature to be used for fondant at 
5,000 ft. 

When the boiling point of water is checked in this way, any 
day-to-day variations in atmospheric pressure caused by weather 
conditions will be compensated. 

The same corrections used for candy-making should be ap- 
plied to frostings. 

If a thermometer is used in jelly-making, the same tempera- 
ture corrections should also be used. By being aware of the prob- 
lems of high altitude cooking and baking and making neces- 
sary adjustments, every housewife should succeed in the kitchen 
regardless of the altitude at which her home is located. 

Colorado State University, through the Altitude Laboratory 
of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition in the College 
of Home Economics, has conducted research in high altitude 
food preparation for over 40 years. Some results of these studies 
are available in the bulletins Mile-High Cakes, Quick Mixes, 
Basic Cookie Mixes for High Altitude, Making Yeast Breads 
at High Altitudes, and W ' heat-Gluten-Egg and Milk-Free Re- 
cipes for Use at High Altitudes and Sea Level. These may be ob- 
tained at a small cost through the Bulletin Room, Office of Print- 
ing and Publications, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 
Colo. 80521. 


Are We What We Eat? 
Nutrition and Health 

By S. J. Ritchey 

The saga of human nutrition and the improvement of human 
health in the United States is really reflected in the efforts 
of many scientists who believed that human performance 
and well being — whether mental or physical — depends primarily 
on what man eats. 

We know much more about human nutrition than we did 100 
years ago and we hear much more about health problems related 
to the consumption of foods. Tremendous progress has been made 
in agriculture production methods and in food science and tech- 
nology to assure a safe, wholesome food supply for the American 
population. Scientists in the State Agricultural Experiment Sta- 
tions have, most appropriately, provided a significant measure 
of leadership in these areas. 

Progress in human nutrition may be measured best by the 
knowledge that many nutritional related problems have been 
conquered. Life expectancy of the average American has in- 
creased significantly from about 40 years of age at the turn of the 
century to approximately 70 years at the present time. 

Deficiency diseases, such as rickets, goiter, pellagra and scurvy, 
have disappeared from the scene in most American communities. 
Advances in nutrition have improved the health of new-born 
children and provided the basis for avoiding anemia early in 
life and for normal growth and development of the child so that 
its full physical and mental potential can be attained. 

The development of human nutrition in the setting of the 
Agricultural Experiment Stations and the land-grant universities 
is a most interesting story. Among leading States in this work 
were Wisconsin, New York, and California. 

S. J. Ritchey is Associate Dean, College of Home Economics, and Assistant Director, 
Agricultural Experiment Station, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 


Nutrition, a relatively new science, evolved from the basic 
sciences of chemistry and physiology. Very early investigators, 
primarily Europeans, initiated nutrition studies as they at- 
tempted to understand the physiological utilization of food in 
supporting the essential processes of life, including growth, repro- 
duction and lactation. 

Nutrition research moved to the United States as colleges and 
universities were organized, but the founding of the land grant 
institutions and the Agricultural Experiment Stations was the 
catalyst for systematic research. 

Agricultural research, in the form of nutritionists, chemists, 
and physiologists located in the animal and plant sciences, con- 
tributed a vast amount of knowledge basic to both human nutri- 
tion and food safety. Admittedly, their priority was enhancing 
the production capabilities of agriculture enterprises, but their 
basic contribution to human nutrition should be acknowledged. 

The science of nutrition has progressed during the last- 100 
years from a meager understanding to the point that most of the 
essential nutrients seem to have been identified. Most nutrients 
have been isolated in purified form and the biological functions 
of many are reasonably well understood. Nutritionists have spec- 
ulated that life could be sustained, although probably not en- 
joyed, through a supply of purified nutrients. But the search for 
ever more nutritional knowledge continues to be a fascinating 

One of several pioneers was W. O. Atwater, director of the 
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, who organized 
and became the first director of the Office of Experiment Stations 
in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) . 

Atwater was a leader in determining the components of food 
essential in meeting the physiological needs of men. Through the 
efforts of Atwater and his associates, a large number of basic 
foods were analyzed for groups of nutrients. 

Our present food composition tables, the best known and most 
complete of which is Agrictdture Handbook No. 8 issued by 
USDA, are based upon this very early work. The handbook is 
currently being revised. Through the years, professionals in 
nutrition, dietetics, and related health sciences have depended 
upon these composition data. USDA continues to update and im- 
prove these food data, as the task is never-ending but essential. 
Information is provided from a wide variety of sources, includ- 
ing the experiment stations, USDA's laboratories, and private in- 


Ohio project seeks to determine effect of polyunsaturated ruminant fats on 
sterol balance of college women. Top, preparing food for diet study. Above 
right, eating diet meal. Above left, diet analysis. 

Through a long series of studies in the early 1900's the nature 
of vitamins began to be uncovered. In 1914 McCollum and Davis 
at Wisconsin reported the discovery of vitamin A. This fat- 
soluble vitamin was related to night blindness in domestic ani- 
mals and eventually was demonstrated to function in the re- 
generation of a pigment, visual purple, in the eye. That pigment 
is essential to normal sight in both man and animals. 


Pennies to Avert Blindness 

This early work provided the scientific basis for supplement- 
ing foods with vitamin A so that the American population can be 
assured of obtaining needed amounts of the vitamin. However, 
not all populations in the world are so fortunate; literally thou- 
sands of children in the Orient are permanently blind because 
they have not received the amount of vitamin A for normal 
functioning of the eye. The real tragedy is that the condition can 
be prevented for only a few cents per child each year. 

In 1919, Steenbock and Gross related vitamin A to foods with 
yellow color, such as carrots and sweet potatoes. Plant pigments, 
carotene and others, were found to have vitamin A activity. 
Later, carotene was demonstrated to be provitamin A. 

Pioneer researchers in nutrition were concerned with the iden- 
tification of all nutrients, or those substances required for life 
and health. For many years the belief existed that the major 
components of food were sufficient, but slowly experimentation 
was accomplished to show that food contained other essential 

Vitamin D has been the center of an interesting, and, in many 
respects, a frustrating search. Rickets were recognized very early 
in the history of nutrition as a dietary problem as large numbers 
of young children were afflicted with weakened and bent limbs. 
Investigators implicated several nutrients, including calcium, 
phosphorus, vitamin A and vitamin D. 

Elmer V. McCollum and coworkers at the Wisconsin Experi- 
ment Station separated vitamin A from the rickets curative 
agent and called the nutrient "vitamin D" in 1922. The benefits 
of vitamin D were clearly outlined and led to the fortification of 
foods, resulting in the control and almost complete eradication 
of rickets. But the metabolic function remained a mystery until 
very recently when H. F. DeLuca at Wisconsin, through a series 
of studies, unraveled the nature of this vitamin's activity. 

Vitamin D is a clear example of the slow and sometimes tedious 
evolution of knowledge in nutrition, as well as in other sciences. 
Though the role of most nutrients is known, many facets of 
biological activity and the implications for human health and 
well-being are still under investigation. 

Through studies by G. K. Davis at the Florida Experiment 
Station and others, knowledge of the inorganic elements in nutri- 
tion has advanced materially. The relationships of calcium and 
phosphorus to bone development, growth, and the prevention of 


A western regional research project in nutrition used this mobile health labora- 
tory during the late 1940's. Scene here in Oregon includes a physician and 
bacteriologist. Director of project is in dark dress in foreground. 

rickets were recognized early in nutrition research in this country 
But research with the trace elements, or those inorganic nutrients 
needed in very small amounts provides some interesting examples 
of valuable contributions. 

Several nutrients such as protein, iron, folic acid, and vitamin 
B12 are important in the essential functions of oxygen transport 
and the control of nutritional anemias. As early as 1925, Hart 
and his associates at Wisconsin showed that a trace element, cop- 
per, was required for iron to be utilized in the synthesis of hemo- 
globin, the important oxygen transporter in the blood. 

Zinc and Sex 

Zinc was recognized as an essential nutrient in mammals in 
the 1920's by researchers at the Georgia and Alabama experi- 
ments stations. But the real impact in human populations has 
been recognized only in recent years. Dwarfism and impaired 
development of the sex organs of the male were identified in 
several population groups around the world. Eventually, these 
maladies responded to supplementation of zinc so that sexual de- 
velopment and growth was restored in the children. 


Zinc is now recognized as an essential element for the human 
and a daily allowance was recommended for the first time in 
1973. The recommended intake for children is based upon re- 
search accomplished at the Virginia Agricultural Experiment 

Perhaps no nutrient has been as controversial as fluorine, now 
recognized by nutritionists and by public health officials as im- 
portant in lowering the incidence of dental caries or tooth 
decay. Several investigators from experiment stations in Arizona. 
Michigan, New York and Wisconsin are instrumental in proving 
that fluorine was active in mottled tooth enamel, an unsightly 
condition found in populations with water supplies containing 
6 to 8 parts per million of fluorine. 

Studies by these and many others led to the accepted concept 
that fluorine, at concentrations of about one part per million in 
the water supply, will reduce significantly the amount of dental 
caries in the population. 

The saga of niacin, one of the water-soluble vitamins, is most 
important because it portrays the immediate application of in- 
formation from basic research to the solution of human problems. 
Work at the Wisconsin Experiment Station, together with that 
of Goldberger and associates, showed that blacktongue in dogs was 
analogous to pellagra in the human and the two maladies could 
be cured by the same dietary supplements. 

Ending the South' s Pellagra 

During the early part of this century, pellagra was rampant 
in the southeastern United States where the major staple was 
corn. Application of information from the basic research led to 
fortification of corn products available through normal market 
channels. Pellagra was eradicated in the region. 

Since World War II, nutrition scientists have recognized that 
protein malnutrition is a major problem in many parts of the 
world. Researchers from many disciplines have focused their at- 
tention on improving the quantity and quality of protein in 

Scientists in the experiment stations and at land grant uni- 
versities made key contributions to our present knowledge about 
protein nutrition. Certain amino acids, the components of pro- 
teins, were found to be essential in the diet of man by W. C. Rose 
in the 1940's and early 1950's. Dietary needs for these essential 
nutrients were described from studies by Rose at Illinois and by 
Ruth Leverton at the Nebraska Experiment Station. 


Wisconsin molecular biologist developing laboratory procedures for quickly 
finding varieties of bean seeds high in total protein and methionine. 

This work evolved from earlier classification of dietary pro- 
teins into animal and plant sources or into first and second 
class proteins based upon the capability to support growth and 
other vital processes. 

J. B. Allison at Rutgers, in New Jersey, and H. H. Mitchell, 
Illinois, were among the investigators who defined the biological 
role and the efficiency of utilization of protein in several species, 
including man. These studies became the basis for initiating 
programs to alleviate protein malnutrition in the developing 
countries of the world. 

Considerable progress has been made in nutrition research 
through a mechanism unique to the Agricultural Experiment 
Station system. This approach, known as region research, brings 
together researchers from several states to work on common 

School Age Nutrition 

An outstanding example is the series of studies designed to 
define the nutritional needs of preadolescent children. These stud- 
ies, accomplished by personnel in the Southern region, represent 
the most comprehensive research about nutrition of the school 
age child. The focus has been on protein, but data on vitamins, 
minerals, fats, energy and numerous interrelationships have come 
from these studies. 

Recommendations for protein needs of the growing child, 
based upon balance studies in which a range of diets varying in 


Iowa studies energy metabolism and utilization of nutrients by women: Left, 
collecting respiratory gases during controlled exercises on treadmill. Center, 
helium chamber measures body volume so percent of body fat can be estimated. 
Right, analyzing gases. 

protein level and composition were fed, have come from the re- 
gional work. Investigators have provided data for loss of protein 
through the skin of the growing child. These data have proved 
useful in establishing realistic guidelines for populations in many- 
parts of the world. 

Researchers in schools and colleges of home economics within 
the experiment stations have provided significant leadership in 
understanding the dietary habits of people and in applying funda- 
mental information to people. A regional research project in the 
North Central region concerned with food consumption be- 
havior of children is an excellent example of this type of research. 
A research project is currently underway in the Southern region 
to relate the food habits to growth, development and nutritional 
health of growing children. A study in the Northeast is deter- 
mining nutritional needs during critical periods in human de- 

Although human nutrition is only one small part of the total re- 
search program in the Agricultural Experiment Stations, im- 
portant contributions continue to be forthcoming. A major ad- 
vantage for applied work in human nutrition in the experiment 
station environment is the possibility of close coordination of re- 


Top and left, Nebraska nutrition research. Right, subject of an Illinois infant 
feeding study acquiring technique of "test-weighing" her infant. Test-weighing 
is used to determine amount of human milk consumed by infant at each feeding. 

search with disciplines involved in the production of food. Teams 
of researchers can work on production yields, genetic improve- 
ment of crops, and utilization of these products for human 

The team effort at the University of Nebraska where investiga- 
tors from agronomy and human nutrition are cooperating to 
study the use of cereal grain by human subjects is an example. 
Feeding the world population and achieving optimum health must 
involve many scientists from a wide range of disciplines. 

The relatively new science of human nutrition will continue 


to make significant contributions to the American population. 
There is much that is known, but much, much more is yet to be 
discovered and tremendous problems need to be solved. 

The nutrition scientist knows relatively little about nutritional 
requirements of man throughout the life cycle. There is knowl- 
edge that nutrition makes a real difference in the health and well- 
being of the growing child, but few data are available from 
research laboratories. The impact of nutrition on human longevity 
is by and large speculative at this point in time. Control of obesity, 
diabetes, hypertension and other nutritionally related problems 
is important in our society. 

Numerous other problems confront the nutritionist working 
in applied programs with the infant, the school-age child, the 
pregnant teenager, the obese middle-age male, and the elderly. 
Answers to many of their questions depend upon research in the 
Agricultural Experiment Stations and other agencies concerned 
with human nutrition and health. 

Those nutritionists in the experiment stations and land grant 
universities have a rich heritage and a tremendous challenge as 
they, along with scientists in other disciplines and in other institu- 
tions and agencies, face the future. 


Co-ops and the Stations, 
Partners in Progress 

By Vernon E. Schneider and Beryle Stanton 

About a half century ago, with experiment stations already 
into their fifth decade, the stations and the agricultural 
cooperatives began a productive partnership to help this 
country's agriculture upgrade itself in the course of its task of 
providing food and fiber to the U.S. consumer and the world. 

Experiment stations already were hard at work on this goal. 
But farmers were just beginning to see the shape of the coopera- 
tive businesses they built into strong marketing and supply 
adjuncts to their on-farm enterprises over the next 50 years — 
the farmer-owned businesses that now do about $30 billion worth 
of business a year. 

Farmers have benefited greatly through lower production costs, 
higher yields, more efficient animal gains, technological and pric- 
ing efficiency in the marketplace, and improved profit incentives. 

However, the rewards of creativity, discovery and innovation 
in agriculture extend far beyond the farm gate. Many of these 
benefits have flowed directly back to society, which pays much 
of the bill in the first place. Benefits to consumers include : ( 1 ) 
An abundant supply of food and fiber available the year round, 
(2) High quality, pure foods, (3) Reasonably priced food and 
fiber, and (4) A variety of convenience food and fiber products. 

Farmers made a few erratic explorations into "group action" 
during the 1800's, with all but a few of these failing due to a 
lack of understanding and experience on the part of farmers and 
the public alike. The few that began to succeed in the late 1800's 
and early 1900's were forerunners of cooperatives owning such 
famous food labels as Sunkist citrus and Dairylea dairy products. 

Vernon E. Schneider is Roy B. Davis Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Coopera- 
tion, Texas A&M Agricultural Experiment Station, College Station. Beryle Stanton is 
Director of Publications, American Institute of Cooperation, Washington, D.C 


Station staff worked closely with many ventures and watched 
both the successes and the failures. 

"Western Farmers Association (WFA), Seattle, Wash., credits 
the Washington State College (now University) with being its 
father. W. A. Linklater, then director of the Western "Washing- 
ton Experiment Station, called the first and second meetings of 
farmers in 1917 to discuss forming a co-op. These resulted in the 
organization of WFA. 

J. W. Kalkus, who succeeded Linklater, served as a director at 
large to WFA for about 3 years and continued to help formulate 
policies and programs of this supply and marketing organization. 

The station also worked closely with WFA in its early market- 
ing — developing egg and fryer marketing programs that later 
became patterns for much of the industry across the country. 

It was also nearly half a century ago that some university and 
experiment station people began to take action to get farmers 
to move faster in adopting the practices and improvements they 
were recommending. 

Representative of this group was D. W. Brooks, then a pro- 
fessor at the University of Georgia. He recalls that one of his 
main motivations for leaving this position some 40 years ago 
was to start a cooperative, a tool he thought could move station 
research on to farmers faster. 

He also saw a co-op as a way to get action on the part of the 
individual farmer. So he became one of the founders of what is 
now Gold Kist Inc., an Atlanta-based cooperative providing 
farmers in a number of southeastern States with marketing and 
supply services. 

Prizes for Best Yields 

Brooks reports there have been hundreds of instances of pro- 
ductive partnership between Gold Kist and experiment stations 
in this region. An early example he cites is the Hundred-Bushel- 
Per- Acre Corn Project. In the early thirties, Georgia corn yield 
was only about 10% bushels an acre, just as it had been for some 
50 years. 

Under the corn project, stations first ran tests to see if hun- 
dred-bushel yields were possible . . . and found they were. Then 
county agents and vocational agricultural teachers in each county 
started programs with 4-H and Future Farmers of America 
groups as well as with adult farmers. 

The Georgia-based co-op helped finance these programs by 
giving prizes for the best yields to counties and to individual 


farmers and stimulating action through publicity and in other 

This project, active for many years, did get some hundred- 
bushel yields and brought the average yield up to 60 bushels. 

One of the main reasons for forming the Southern States Co- 
operative, Richmond, Va., in 1923 also was to carry experiment 
station research results and recommendations more quickly to 

The Virginia Experiment Station, after long research, had 
announced that failures of clover and alfalfa crops were caused 
by farmers having to use seed not adapted to the State's soil and 
climate conditions. 

W. G. Wysor, key founder and general manager of the co-op 
during its first 25 years, often told how Southern States came 
into the picture. It took the station findings on Williamsburg 
alfalfa that showed it a regionally adapted variety and began 
to promote it. 

But the co-op wasn't able to find persons with enough interest 
and capital to take the new and improved strains of foundation 
stock seed coming from the station and make it available in large 
enough quantities for the farmer to use. 

So it began to take foundation seed stock and place it in the 
hands of established farmer-growers in areas best suited to multi- 
ply the seed. 

From this start, farmers began to get enough of the recom- 
mended variety to produce a better yielding crop. 

Since these earlier days, experiment stations and co-ops have 
worked together in many ways and have maintained a close 
linkage as they moved ahead with the common purpose of im- 
proving this country's production of food and fiber for the 
good of all. 

Stations have continued over the years to feed information 
to co-ops along with their other outlets. Here are two examples. 

The California and Arizona stations provide Sunkist Growers, 
Sherman Oaks, Calif., with information for its members on cul- 
tural practices, pest control, varietal improvements, havesting 
and handling techniques, decay control, and economic informa- 
tion. Grower members use a return stack heater that the Cali- 
fornia station developed to reduce pollution from smudge smoke. 

The Louisiana Experiment Station studied comparative rates 
of payout for broiler contract growers and contractors. It found 
that growers might not be able to form a co-op or other type of 
business because of the large amount of capital required for a 


Top, California scientists and Sunkist Growers co-op worked together to study 
decay injury to citrus fruit in transit, using a half-sized railroad refrigerator 
car. Left, ferry carrying Sunkist brand soft drink to Hong Kong market. Right, 
California researchers reduced pollution from smudge smoke in orchards by 
developing an improved heater. It returns most of smoke to tank below for 

broiler complex and the high risks involved. In many cases, a 
financial disaster was averted as the result of research findings. 

Co-ops also work with stations to get valid and tested research 
information that farmers must have to meet consumer needs and 
expectations — with experiment stations as the basic information 


Landmark Inc., Columbus, Ohio, constantly seeks informa- 
tion from stations so its people at both State and local levels have 
reliable advice for farmers. Its binder of semi-technical informa- 
tion, Agro-Guide, has station findings as its nucleus. 

This co-op also uses station research results and staff in its 


yearly seed and fertilizer schools which train field representatives. 
Co-op personnel then relay the information on to farmers as they 
do business with them on a regular basis. 

Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, Lubbock, Texas, re- 
ports big dividends have resulted for its members because Texas 
experiment stations developed varieties of castors (castor-oil 
plants) and sunflowers adapted to regional growing conditions. 
This added new cash crops in the area and provided consumers 
with still another source of quality protein and oil. 

Farmland Industries, Kansas City, Mo., keeps in close touch 
with station work in the 1 5 States where it serves its members in 
the Midwest. Its staff, fieldmen, and merchandisers discuss, re- 
view, and observe stations' work on fertilizer, agricultural chem- 
icals, and agronomic practices, and get research information on 
to farmers. 

Farmland also carries station information to the nearly half 
a million farmers in its membership through local meetings, 
person-to-person advice, and its many publications that include 
a bi-monthly newspaper with over half a million circulation. 

Gold Kist found in its earlier days that fertilizer available to 
farmers in the Southeast wasn't giving good results and the 
amounts recommended for use were very high. 

So the co-op asked stations to run tests on kinds and quantities 
that would be most effective. It then worked with the stations to 
move test results on to farmers. And it began to get the kinds 
of fertilizer recommended by having cooperatively-owned plants 

Co-ops such as Farmland help market hogs closer to consumer. Farmland oper- 
ates this pork processing plant in Iowa. 


Above, grain-filled barges being pushed 
down Mississippi River by co-op towboat, to 
return with fertilizer. Missouri Farmers As- 
sociation shares in ownership of barge co-op. 
Right, co-op egg circle of 1919 receiving 
and paying for eggs. 

produce it. Thus, the stations and the co-op together helped to 
reduce the farmer's costs, to increase his productivity, and to 
hold down food costs. 

MFA Oil Company and Missouri Farmers Association, Colum- 
bia, conduct hundreds of meetings each year for farmers. Both 
Missouri experiment station and cooperative specialists present 
information here that stems from station research. 

Cenex, St. Paul, Minn., uses station recommendations in its 
crop production handbooks, tools that employees use to help 
farmers with crop management, soil fertility, and other practices 
and problems. 

Many other co-ops report dependence on station recommenda- 
tions on a wide variety of farm production matters for informa- 
tion carried in manuals; regularly issued newsletters, newspapers, 
and magazines that in total reach most of the agricultural pro- 
ducers in this country; farmers production guides; and consumer 
information on the availability and cost of various food items. 


Experiment stations get additional funds from co-ops to do 
both specific and general research — with co-ops the financial 
supporters of research. These private funds supplement public 
funds for the good of all. 

Agway Inc., Syracuse, N.Y., has a heritage of cooperation with 
land grant universities and stations, a legacy from its three found- 
ing co-ops that has remained strong. It provided almost $200,000 
for more than 90 agricultural research projects during the past 
year. This included regular grants-in-aid of $149,000 to 15 uni- 
versities and $50,000 for a dairy chore reduction program. 

Since Agway's formation in 1964 by the merger of three co-ops 
in the Northeast, it has invested over $1 million in grants- 
in-aid that are aimed at improving farm income and consumer 

The dairy chore reduction program, coordinated by Agway, 
is a concerted effort now going on to make dairying more profit- 
able, safer, and more pleasant. Dairymen and representatives of 
land grant universities, businesses involved in dairying, and 
Agway met several times to identify major problems in dairy 
housing, feeding, milking, and manure management. 

Then funds from Agway, equipment manufacturers, dairy 
co-ops, banks, and others serving dairymen went to support about 
25 specific projects under way at 12 universities. 

From time to time, Gold Kist provides funds to stations — for 
example, for work on coastal bermuda grass. The cooperative 
provided fertilizer so testing could continue after appropriation 
funds ran out. Proper fertilization increased productivity up to 
some 12 to 14 tons an acre under ideal conditions, and as yield 
went up so did protein content and nutritive value. 

Cenex (Farmers Union Central Exchange) has provided a 
number of financial grants-in-aid to stations. For example: 

• For studies by the South Dakota Experiment Station in 
1964 which showed that bulk handling of fertilizer, then in its 
beginning stages, was both agronomically and economically 

• To North Dakota State University in 1968 making it pos- 
sible for the experiment station to complete a badly needed green- 

• For a study in 1969 at the Wisconsin Experiment Station 
which resulted in programming and computerizing plant analysis 
results for rapid interpretation and recommendations. Plant 
analysis is now an integral part of Cenex' Crop Monitor service 
to its farmer members 


Western Farmers Association is a supporter at the State legisla- 
ture for experiment station funding and also makes special con- 
tributions for specific projects. 

For the past ten years, Farmland Industries has provided funds 
for about 1 5 graduate students a year to work on specific studies 
of interest to both the station and the co-op. It has also supported 
work at Colorado State University that led to a new method of 
soils analysis. 

Ohio State University frequently gets seed from Landmark at 
no cost for research. In 1973—74, it was using one of the co-op's 
hybrid corn varieties in no-tillage experiments and a high yield 

Co-ops move experiment station findings out of the research 
realm and experimental stage and put them into actual use — 
with co-ops becoming the delivery system in many cases. 

Station findings help keep a new computer planned cropping 
system of Landmark current. Called ComputerCrop, this system 
of crop production recommendations by use of the computer 
starts with soil tests and surveys, then makes recommendations 
for the individual farmer on tillage, seed, fertilizer, weed control, 
insect control, and cost analyses. 

Nutrition Information 

Many co-ops keep in close contact with station staffs to get 
information and help on nutrition, techniques for processing, 
quality control, new products, and other material vital to proc- 
ess and market farm products in the best interest of both pro- 
ducers and consumers. 

A progress report from an Oklahoma experiment station proj- 
ect showed many co-ops in that State were not retiring farmer 
equities on a regular basis. The study is now evaluating the effec- 
tiveness of existing and/or alternative plans for retiring equities 
and their effect on co-op operation. 

Farmland Industries cooperates in field tests of experiment sta- 
tion findings and uses results to develop products and services for 
members. It says, "Whenever we consider a venture into a new 
area, we discuss its advisability with experiment station and uni- 
versity people." 

Station and university people serve on Farmland's advisory 
committees on fertilizer, feed, and agricultural chemicals. In 
general, each committee has a representative from each university 
in the region served. 


Station staffs and representatives of several regional co-ops — 
Tennessee Farmers Cooperative, FS Services, Southern Farm As- 
sociation, Landmark, Southern States Cooperative, and Gold 
Kist — hold conference board meetings regularly to report to 
each other and to discuss mutual problems and progress in dairy, 
livestock, and poultry fields. 

Stations in the States served by Gold Kist work closely with the 
co-op's research staffs through College Feed Boards. The groups 
meet twice a year, with the co-op handling expenses, to exchange 
and compare research results. 

The Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station has research 
in progress that is evaluating marketing patterns and coordinat- 
ing arrangements in marketing grain from farm producers on 
through country elevators and up to existing regional co-ops. 

The Louisiana station is conducting a project that has already 
resulted in establishment of a farmer-owned poultry processing 
and marketing co-op. 

Nine universities were involved in a recent study on the As- 
sociated Standby Pool Cooperative. This came up with a general 
evaluation and some recommendations on how the 17 member 
dairy cooperatives in this Pool could better use it to support re- 
serve supplies of grade A milk on a year-round basis. 

Thirteen stations in the North Central Region and agencies of 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are participating 
in a study on adjustments by dairy marketing co-ops in the re- 
gion. The Ohio station has been analyzing costs, effect on in-store 
promotion techniques, and labor productivity in about 65 dairy 
associations. Preliminary findings of this study analyzed a wide 
range of adjustments being made and their effect on dairymen 
and their co-ops as well as the parallel question of the impact of 
growth and size of good retailers upon co-ops. 

Iowa's contributing project in this broad study is on alterna- 
tive solutions for regionals. Data has been developed on produc- 
tion and costs of various services for members or for milk bottlers 
by fluid milk bargaining co-ops, and an analytical procedure and 
systematic method to determine the most effective routing of 
trucks to move members' milk to plants has been selected. 

Kentucky's part of the study shows that problems of price, 
producer equities, and market stability arise from differences in 
marketing activities and related service costs. 

Illinois is collecting information from dairy co-ops to deter- 
mine the cost of providing co-op services, who pay for them, and 
who benefits from the services. 


Other studies in the dairy area include: 

In Connecticut, results of research analysis have helped make 
decisions on pricing policies and programs by a new co-op in the 
Northeast, Regional Common Marketing Agency, that serves a 
number of dairy co-ops. 

Stations in Maine and Vermont are working with Yankee Milk, 
Newington, Conn., to assess the impact of extending the Boston 
Regional Federal Order into northern New England. 

Pennsylvania has done research on the share of the market by 
co-ops, food firms, and proprietary firms. It shows that local in- 
dependent firms handle a larger share of fluid milk than in many 
other areas of the country. 

Since Wisconsin leads the nation in milk sales, much research 
has been done on dairy co-ops there. In 1960, a research team de- 
veloped a blueprint on the best type organization for the industry 
which demonstrated that reorganization could yield farmers 10 
to 2 5 cents more per hundredweight of milk sold. 

Followup studies dealt with ways to bring about changes such 
as plant and management efficiencies, consolidation possibilities, 
membership information programs, and arrangements for more 
effective bargaining. 

This research contributed significantly to the combining of 
over 100 Wisconsin dairy co-ops, thus improving the income of 
members and holding down the costs of moving dairy products to 

Minnesota has been conducting a major study of market 
structure, conduct and performance of selected agricultural prod- 
uct and supply markets in that State. In about 950 marketing 
and supply co-ops, it has examined relationships of concentra- 
tion, product diversification, and degree of vertical integration 
with such performance measures as profitability and technical 

The study is showing consolidations into fewer and larger 
co-ops that are more diversified and more vertically integrated 
both forward toward market and back toward the sources of 
farm input raw materials than was true 20 years ago. 

Other studies in the business area include : 

• Finding the economic impact of various mergers of coopera- 
tive cotton gins, by the New Mexico station 

• Developing accounting systems and ratio analysis for co-op 
decision making, by the Arkansas station. Early findings indicate 
that in some cases farmers would not have an access to market 
for certain of their commodities without co-ops 


• Studying the economics of organizing, financing, and op- 
erating co-ops, by the Georgia station. One aspect is appraisal of 
the co-op as an alternative form of business enterprise. Another 
is exploring specific business situations that seem to call for a 
multiple owner firm or a co-op 

Co-ops at times take experiment station results a few steps 
farther along in the research process, testing them further — with 
the co-ops acting as applied researchers. 

Many techniques developed by stations in breeding new varie- 
ties are used by Farmers Forage Research, a research co-op, on its 
seed research farm. It also uses station specialists as consultants on 
specific projects. 

Purdue University helps the Indiana Farm Bureau Coopera- 
tive Association with its poultry breeding farm. Experiment sta- 
tion research is further extended by Gold Kist — on its own 
research farms for broilers, eggs, pork, and beef. 

Agway's Farm Research Center is working with Cornell Uni- 
versity and USDA's Agricultural Research Service on drying 
manure from poultry to the point where the odor is almost elimi- 

Waste Control 

The experiment station at the University of Missouri helped 
set up the 1,200-acre research farm of the Missouri Farmers As- 
sociation, Columbia. It helped the farm design a complete system 
of waste control. The cooperative farm also adopted and adapted 
a number of crop and livestock production ideas, with university 
assistance, for further testing. 

The future holds even greater promise of a fruitful relation- 
ship between the experiment stations and the co-ops. As in the 
past, goals of this partnership will be to: (1) preserve and 
strengthen the independent commercial farmers, (2) provide the 
public with an adequate supply of high quality food and fiber, 
and ( 3 ) make sure that the benefits on the investment of public 
funds in agricultural research outweigh the cost to the public. 

Future trends include: 

— Greater emphasis on cooperative marketing. 

— Even greater coordination of experiment station and private 
cooperative research, with duplication reduced or eliminated 
where possible. 

— Greater involvement of co-op personnel in planning experi- 
ment station research. 


— Improvement of the delivery system to transfer experiment 
station results to practical use by farmers, directly and through 
their co-ops. 

— While much of the work will continue to be between State 
experiment stations and co-ops within the State, more regional 
and national coordination of programs of research is needed. 


George Harrar Sets Off 
The Green Revolution 

By Irene Uribe 

In June 1942 J. George Harrar had just completed his first year 
as Head of the Department of Plant Pathology at Washing- 
ton State University. He had come to Washington State 
from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, where in six years he had 
attained the rank of full professor. Now he was head of an Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station's division of plant pathology with 
responsibilities in coordinating his department's research, teach- 
ing and extension activities. 

Harrar was young, forceful, popular on campus. A sportsman 
and former college athlete, he was as happy in a duck blind at 
sunup as in the laboratory or lecture hall. Some ten years back he 
had spent four years teaching at the University of Puerto Rico, 
where he acquired a command of Spanish. 

That spring the Rockefeller Foundation was looking for just 
such a man — a highly qualified scientist, fluent in Spanish and 
acquainted with Latin American culture, at once idealistic and 
hard-headed, open-minded but indomitable. When the challenge 
of improving Mexico's food production was put to him by 
Foundation President Raymond B. Fosdick, Harrar recognized 
it as an opportunity that would engage all his powers. 

Six months later he was in Mexico, sounding out government 
officials, landowners, and farmers, surveying the agricultural 
situation, and sizing up the job he had undertaken. It was formi- 
dable. Mexico was an agrarian nation but suffered from food 
shortages. It was forced to invest large amounts of hard-won 
foreign exchange in importing basic foods which, some believed, 
could be produced within the country. 

Irene Uribe was Research Assistant, The Rockefeller Foundation, New York, N.Y. Her 
chapter is based on an interview with J. George Harrar, President Emeritus of the 
foundation. Mrs. Uribe died early this year. 


Today we know how this adventure turned out; it is one of 
the great success stories of 20th century agricultural develop- 
ment. Now called The Green Revolution, it embraces scores of 
countries around the globe. Harrar did not usher in the Green 
Revolution single-handed, but the conjunction of events in that 
early summer of 1942 was fateful. Asked to sum up the history 
and significance of his role in world agricultural development, 
Harrar recently agreed to an exercise in hindsight: 

"Although the term Green Revolution had not yet been in- 
vented in the early 1940's, something like an agricultural revolu- 
tion had certainly been in progress for several decades in the 
United States. 

"Perhaps no country has placed greater emphasis on the eco- 
nomic utilization of its agricultural resources than our own. 
From its beginnings, American agriculture developed rapidly, 
expanding as the system improved in all its aspects. 

"Society recognized the enormous resources which agriculture 
represented to the economic development and well-being of the 
Nation, and willingly and increasingly supported the physical 
aspects of farming. A multiple research establishment, the de- 
velopment of the great extension system in education, and the 
creation of a network of agricultural educational institutions 
complete with experiment stations for research have over the 
years contributed to our understanding of our agricultural re- 
sources, and their economic utilization. 

"Our greatest strength has been the quality of the American 
farmer and his successful effort to improve the quantity and 
quality of agricultural commodities, both plant and animal, 
produced each year. Growing Federal and State understanding 
and participation in programs to promote national production, 
to preserve and protect arable land, forests, pasture and range 
land, and wildlife areas, have also been major factors. 

"Especially important milestones were the Land Grant Col- 
lege Acts of 1862 and 1890, the establishment of the U.S. De- 
partment of Agriculture (USDA) in 1862, and the Hatch Act 
of 1887 which established the nationwide system of State Agri- 
cultural Experiment Stations. The result has been that food, 
fiber, and other agricultural needs have been met, with added 
economic benefits coming from international trade. In addition, 
it has also been possible, over the past two decades or more, to 
provide enormous quantities of foodstuffs on a concessional, hu- 
manitarian basis to alleviate crop failures resulting from natural 
disasters among the poor nations of the Third World." 


U.S.-provided grain sorghum is distributed by camel in Africa's Sahel. 

The U. S. experience with agricultural research, education, and 
extension was to be pivotal in the worldwide effort that grew 
out of the Mexican undertaking. Many of the problems Harrar 
encountered in Mexico were easy to diagnose, but others were 
totally unfamiliar. Harrar describes the situation. 

Aftermath of Revolution 

"In 1943 Mexico was still adjusting to the aftermath of its 
revolution. Large estates had been broken up, farm properties 
were generally modest in size, and the attempt to serve the needs 
of the landless peasants produced the 'ejidaP system in which 
many land parcels were microscopic, uneconomic subsistence 
units. However, a great nation of great people was determined to 
work its way out of the past, and its dramatic economic and 
social progress during the past 30 years is eloquent testimony 
to that determination and dedicated effort. 

"Traditional varieties of corn and wheat were low yielding 
and coarse, soils impoverished, water all too often a scarce item, 
and widespread droughts frequent. Soil management practices 
were inadequate, fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals 
in short supply and costly. All of this was compounded by an in- 
adequately designed and supported agricultural development 


complex, a paucity of qualified agricultural scientists and other 
specialists, and a weak system of agricultural education." 

Harrar's first move, following a personal reconnaissance, was 
to pick a small group of American scientists for a concerted 
attack on production problems. Making up the original team 
were two plant breeders, a soil scientist, a plant pathologist, an 
entomologist, and a botanist with a background in library science. 
(The multi-disciplinary, mission-oriented approach was to be a 
hallmark of the many research and production efforts that later 
grew out of the Mexican program. ) 

The team members selected by Harrar had been connected 
with U.S. land-grant colleges either as students or teachers, and 
were familiar with the important role of Agricultural Ex- 
periment Stations. Although they had never experienced life 
south of the border and had little idea of what lay ahead, the 
scientists who joined Harrar in Mexico had in common an ad- 
venturous spirit and a sense of dedication. They also recognized 
Harrar's exceptional gift for leadership. As Edwin J. Wellhausen 
put it in later years; "I wanted to work with a dynamic in- 
dividual like George Harrar." 

From the start, young Mexican scientists were brought into 
the program, for one long-term goal was to make Mexico self- 
sufficient in professional manpower as well as in its basic food 

Bridging the cultural gap was something both sides had to 
work at. Talking informally about the first of the program's 
famous field days, Harrar once remarked: "I have to admit that 
much of our work was pretty mysterious to the people. They 
didn't understand why we were there or whom we were work- 
ing for. We kept bearing down on the fact that we were there 
for them ... In fact, we let the Mexicans do most of the talking." 

Barbecue Rapport 

Better rapport was established at the barbecues that followed 
the demonstration-plot tours. Harrar's purpose, however, went 
deeper than getting the farmers' good will and cooperation. 

"The Rockefeller Foundation fully recognized its guest role 
in Mexico, and was aware of the necessity and desirability of be- 
coming a part of the local scene, to work in an atmosphere of 
mutual understanding and confidence towards important eco- 
nomic and humanitarian goals," he recalls. 

"It was recognized that applied research was of fundamental 


Displaying spike of triticale, a cross between 
wheat and rye. 

importance, but that it would be necessary also to communicate 
continuously with farmers, scientists, government officials and 
others in the production system. From the beginning, training 
efforts were introduced into the program and support was pro- 
vided to help develop an extension system as well as to reinforce 
national agricultural institutions. 

"As the Mexican agricultural program developed over the 
years, positive results began to accrue. A pattern had emerged in 
which genetic improvement of crop varieties buttressed by soil 
management, weed, pest, and disease control, and the use of fer- 
tilizers began to pay off in substantially increased yields. By 
195 5 the gap in corn and wheat production had been closed. 
Mexico became self-sufficient for these important crops. A net- 
work of experiment stations had been established and an exten- 
sion system organized." 

Components of the research and extension apparatus in Mexico 
had many features in common with U. S. experiment stations 
and extension services. Fundamentally, they also reflected Mex- 
ico's needs and were adapted to Mexican conditions. For ex- 
ample, in crop improvement work the systems approach was 
emphasized, with each crop studied from several scientific view- 
points. As a result, once the high yielding pest-resistant varieties 
sought by breeders, agronomists, and farmers were available, 
they likewise had traits sought by nutritionists, economists, and 

Success of the Mexican program, and of subsequent interna- 
tional efforts, was due in large part to the manner of proceeding 
Harrar adopted and stuck to even in the face of factional suspic- 
ion and ingenuous disbelief. He took the slow route of evolving 
technological and institutional patterns molded to local condi- 
tions, rather than trying to superimpose high-powered U. S. 
techniques on refractory Mexican realities. 


Scientific colleagues and unsophisticated country people alike 
often expected to see an imported American miracle. Harrar's 
genius lay in helping them work a miracle of their own. How- 
ever, one should not underestimate the importance of the Ameri- 
can contribution. 

"USDA and land grant college scientists and administrators 
were most sympathetic to the effort to assist Mexico and, over 
the years, have been helpful in manifold ways," Harrar recalls. 
"Advice and information were freely provided as were varieties 
of seeds for trial. Personal visits were exchanged, graduate stu- 
dents from Mexico were accepted for training, and USDA and 
experiment station scientists served as boards of agricultural 
advisors to the Foundation. Thus, the emergence of the Green 
Revolution was the consummation of a long-term cooperative 
effort in which many organizations and individuals had a role. 

"As the program in Mexico began to demonstrate its potential 
for increased production, it attracted wide international atten- 
tion. Colombia invited us to establish a similar program with 
agricultural research and development agencies in that country. 
The Foundation accepted the invitation in 1950 and over the 
years a highly successful cooperative effort has evolved, largely 
through the understanding and support of the Government of 
Colombia and the participation of large numbers of able and 
dedicated Colombian scientists, educators, administrators, and 
extension personnel. 

"Results of the cooperative programs in Mexico and Colombia 
led to an invitation from Chile to establish a third program in 
that country. The invitation was accepted, and Foundation staff 
were posted to Chile to work together with Chilean colleagues in 
research and its application to developing the basic food pro- 
duction system of that nation. 

"In the early 1950's, India sent observers to Mexico, and in 
195 5 requested Rockefeller Foundation collaboration in an effort 
to improve the yields of cereal crops there. Once again, the 
Foundation accepted the challenge and a far-flung program was 
developed emphasizing wheat, corn, and rice. Over the years, 
substantial gains in production have resulted. 

"As the several national cooperative programs in Latin Ameri- 
ca and India progressed, they were able to reinforce each other 
in a variety of ways. When information, methods, and improved 
materials were developed in one of the several centers, they were 
made available to the others, and wherever else it seemed they 


Above, farmers examine high-yield- 
ing wheat at India's Punjab Agri- 
cultural University, which is patterned 
after U.S. land grant colleges. Right, 
uprooting and transplanting rice in 
an India area irrigated under U.S.- 
financed program. 

might be useful. Eventually, outreach projects were established 
in East and West Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, and Pakistan, as 
well as a number of countries in Central and South America. 
Each of the four original national programs was used as a train- 
ing ground for scientists from other countries with the intention 
that on their return, they might develop local projects in food 
crop improvement." 

Encircling the Globe 

By the early 1960's, the legacy of the Mexican program had 
grown to enormous proportions. In 1952 Harrar had been named 
deputy director for agriculture of the Rockefeller Foundation 
and posted back to New York. From this vantage he guided the 


expansion of overseas programs which now encircled the globe. 
He helped shape the patterns that were leading toward the grain 
production breakthrough that was to be known as the Green 
Revolution. He puts it this way: 

"As country programs progressed, visible results began to 
accrue, especially in the form of substantially increased yields of 
the major cereal crops. These were recognized by farmers and 
others involved in the national food production system. The re- 
sult was greater confidence on the part of growers, more sup- 
port from governments, increased agricultural credit, and im- 
proved storage, transport, and marketing facilities provided. 
Perhaps most important of all was the growing evidence as to 
what could be accomplished in terms of greater food production 
through well-designed production systems. 

"By the 1960's, the Mexican corn varieties were being grown, 
tested and improved wherever they were adaptable. Similarly, 
Mexican wheats were finding their way into important wheat- 
growing areas worldwide. These high-yielding varieties were 
making dramatic breakthroughs in yields in Latin America, Asia, 
and Africa. 

"This was possible because of the genetic improvement of 
varieties and their use in production systems geared to the local 
environment. That could not have happened were it not for the 
growing number of well-trained nationals who were providing 
the critical mass necessary to assure sound and continuing prog- 
ress towards established production goals. Furthermore, there 
was a gradual but effective development of informal interna- 
tional collaboration among organizations and institutions with 
similar objectives." 

Harrar was a moving force in the formation of this inter- 
national network. His appointment as president of the Rockefel- 
ler Foundation in 1961 extended the scope of his responsibilities 
to other areas, some of which, like agriculture, have direct bear- 
ing on the problem of feeding the world's growing populations. 
The Foundation had, among other interests, overseas programs 
aimed at strengthening universities in developing countries; 
faculties of science including agriculture, economics, and veter- 
inary medicine later cooperated closely with the research insti- 
tutes focusing on key crops and animal production. 

The Foundation also had a program in population problems. 

Harrar 's involvement in the food -population crisis was thus 
intensified. As Foundation president, he was to play a decisive 
part in the extraordinary developments of the late 1960's and 


early 1970's. These were the years that saw the creation of a 
unique global problem-solving system for agricultural develop- 
ment. Harrar recounts its genesis, starting with the establish- 
ment of IRRI, the International Rice Research Institute. 

"The success of the cooperative program begun in Mexico in 
1943 led to consideration of the wisdom of establishing a truly 
international research center dedicated to the improvement of a 
major food grain. Rice, as the world's major food grain, would be 
the ideal object of such a center, and the Republic of the Philip- 
pines would be an ideal location. 

"The original concept was the product of mutual interest on 
the part of the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations whose repre- 
sentatives undertook to discuss the idea with the Government of 
the Philippines and certain local institutions. The President and 
other government officials expressed great interest and the desire 
to have the institute located in the Philippines; and afer a period 
of negotiation, a memorandum of agreement was signed. 

"IRRI was constructed on land adjacent to the College of Agri- 
culture of the University of the Philippines at Los Banos and 
was dedicated in February, 1962. From its establishment, IRRI 
worked in close collaboration with the University of the Philip- 
pines and other national organizations. As the research program 
unfolded, a training center, a library and documentation facili- 
ties were created to serve the rice-producing nations. 

"Today, IRRI is working in intimate association with many 
national and international institutions worldwide. Improved rice 
varieties have been developed which are now grown and are con- 
tributing to substantially higher yields in many of the world's 
most important rice-growing countries. 

"The rice research institute demonstrated the validity and 
efficiency of this sort of concentrated effort to improve cereal 
production internationally. Subsequently, three other institutes 
have been established by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations in 
cooperation with selected host countries — Nigeria, Mexico, and 
Colombia. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture 
in Nigeria is dedicated to improving agriculture in the humid 
tropics, as is the International Center of Tropical Agriculture in 
Colombia. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement 
Center in Mexico focuses its program on the improvement of 
corn and wheat production worldwide. 

"Today these centers, in addition to support from the two 
original foundations, are assisted financially by other sources in- 
cluding the Agency for International Development, interna- 


tional banks, the Kellogg Foundation, the United Nations De- 
velopment Programme, and certain members of the Consultative 
Group on International Agricultural Research. 

(The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Re- 
search has 29 members. They include governments of developed 
countries, United Nations agencies, regional development banks, 
private assistance agencies and foundations, and representatives 
of the major developing areas of the world.) 

"Since 1971 several other institutes have come into being, 
largely through the initiative of members of the Consultative 
Group. The newer institutes include the International Potato 
Center in Peru, the International Crops Research Institute for 
the Semi- Arid Tropics in India, and two African centers: The 
International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases, in 
Kenya, concerns itself with trypanosomiasis and East Coast 
fever, two deadly cattle diseases. And the International Livestock 
Centre for Africa, in Ethiopia, works on animal husbandry and 
livestock production systems. 

"The international centers are powerful tools for the produc- 
tion of new knowledge, methods, and materials, and their ap- 
plication for rapid progress in increasing food supplies world- 
wide. Their efforts are focused and concentrated and the results 
will, on a growing scale, be translated into more and better basic 
foods for millions of individuals presently economically and 
otherwise disadvantaged. Simultaneously, these centers are be- 
coming important catalysts for the continuing development of 
national institutions and agricultural systems. 

"The Green Revolution is pointing the way, not as an exclu- 
sive answer, but as a model and a powerful instrument which if 
applied effectively on an ever-growing scale, can contribute 
enormously to the goals we all seek." 

Upon his retirement in 1972, Harrar was elected Life Fellow 
of the Rockefeller Foundation in recognition of his "unique 
contribution to the improvement of the human condition, in a 
world where such accomplishments are few." These words of 
Douglas Dillon, chairman of the Foundation's board of trustees, 
figured among the many tributes that poured in — some from 
distant parts of the world. 

Former colleagues and associates praised his "foresighted and 
vigorous leadership," his "superb character, vision, innovative 
ideas, common sense, concentration, and perseverance." States- 
men of high rank in many lands acknowledged his contribution 
to their countries' development. 


J. George Harrar 

Mexico Is With You 

From Mexico, the moving words, "Today Mexico is with you," 
spanned nearly 30 years of fruitful association. 

During that time Harrar has received 12 honorary doctorates 
from universities throughout the world as well as numerous 
awards of merit and honorary memberships from scientific so- 
cieties and universities at home and abroad. His many decorations 
from foreign governments include some of the highest awards 
that can be given to foreigners. To this impressive list of honors, 
an unofficial title has been added by acclamation: Architect of 
the Green Revolution. 

"The phenomenon which has now become known as the Green 
Revolution is the product of a chain of events culminating, 
from a very small beginning, in dramatic benefits of world-wide 
significance," Harrar notes. "In capsule form, it is the applica- 
tion of a package of research, field experience, training, and com- 
munication, in a sustained effort to redress the balance between 
people and food where needs are greatest. 

"The more developed countries cannot indefinitely satisfy def- 
icit food production situations among other nations. Maximum 
benefits can only accrue when those agrarian nations, now in a 
chronic state of underproduction, move increasingly and effec- 
tively into a position of optimum utilization of national resources 
for the satisfaction of food and nutrition requirements for the 

"All countries can and must work together to bring about 
greater self-sufficiency in food production world-wide through 
the establishment and development of sound agricultural plan- 
ning and the support of those instrumentalities most critical to a 
productive agricultural industry." 


Ecology . . . Never Having 
To Say You're Sorry 

By E. Paul Taiganides 

In scientific jargon, ecology refers to the relationship and 
natural balance which exists among microorganisms, fish, 
birds, alligators, wildlife, bugs, plants, man and the natural 
environment. In other words, Ecology means . . . Never Having 
to Say You're Sorry. 

After 200 years of industrial revolution and a full century 
of agricultural revolution, the current disposition of our society 
is one of growing concern with the problems of pollution and 
ecology. Although environmental pollution is a new anxiety for 
the majority of people in the United States, ecological studies 
were incorporated into the activities of State Agricultural Ex- 
periment Stations from the very beginning. 

Man has had a definite effect on the ecology of the natural 
environment from the moment he appeared on earth. 

However, human effects on the environment ranged from 
minimal at the time he lived as "hunter," to local influences 
when he domesticated animals and became a "herder," to regional 
ecological disruptions when man became a "farmer," and today 
they are global as man has become an "industrialist." 

As a hunter, man's activities produced only temporary dis- 
ruptions in the ecosystem of the small valleys where he hunted 
his prey. When man developed into a herder by domesticating 
animals, he caused agricultural disruptions of enough local signif- 
icance to compete with natural changes in the ecosystem. 

As a herder, man enjoyed a more steady source of food and 
more leisure time which he devoted to increasing his numbers 
and to advancing his technology^ Population pressures and ad- 
vanced technology caused the great mass movements from the 

E. Paul Taiganides is Professor of Agricultural Engineering, Ohio Agricultural Research 
and Development Center, Columbus. 



Above, mallard ducks and Canada 
geese on Tennessee pond. Right, 
fawns are part of whitetail deer herd 
maintained by New Hampshire re- 
searchers studying the ecology of 
wildlife, a general index of environ- 
mental quality. 

Indo-European steppes into continental Europe and across the 
Atlantic to America. 

For every man in the United States 100 years ago, there were 
60 acres of fertile valleys, virgin forests, rolling prairies and lush 
grasslands. Soon oversized herds of cattle, sheep and horses made 
a waste of Nature's bounty. 

The green prairies along with great tracts of marginal land 
were plowed up for a few years of crops, and were abandoned 
when their soil fertility was depleted. From the bare, abandoned 
land, from the overgrazed pastures, and from fields and forests 


Left, green circles made from giant irrigation systems that pivot around a central 
point, Nebraska. Right, contour farming and stripcropping promote soil and 
water conservation in Wisconsin. 

cultivated with no regard for ecology, there arose billowing 
clouds of dust bowls marking the first environmental crisis of 

The Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of 
Missouri was the first to establish experimental plots to study 
factors affecting soil erosion by water and wind. Recognition of 
the ecological disruptive power of farming resulted in extensive 
soil and water conservation programs in the 1930's. In the mean- 
time, the economic depression of that era hastened the pace of 
industrial development in the 1940's and 19J0's. 

Man as an industrialist is causing agricultural disruptions which 
have global significance. The application of large quantities of 
phosphorous, nitrogen, other plant nutrients and pest control- 
ling chemicals is causing changes which go beyond the boundaries 
of regional ecosystems. 

Penguins and Coprology 

DDT sprayed with airplanes over cotton fields in Texas and 
over forests in Georgia may conceivably find its way to the fat 
tissues of penguins in the Antarctic. 

It is true that the new industrial age has brought us economic 
affluence. However, the secondary effects of industrialization are 
pollution and ecological disruptions whose long-term effects we 
are unable to assess precisely. 

Yet, human survival in the next century demands that we 
grow more food for more people, in less time, on decreasing 


land areas, and with less environmental degradation. This is a 
Herculean task that only science and technology can perform. 
It calls for the new science of the future. . . Coprology (coined 
from the Greek words for waste, copros, and science, logos. ) 

The basic premise of Coprology is that there is no such thing 
as waste. Everything is a resource. Wastes are resources out of 
place. A resource which is neglected or for which an economic 
use has not been found becomes a waste. 

Research at Agricultural Experiment Stations is now finding 
new ways of recycling wastes and turning them into resources. 
Livestock wastes, for example, could be used to produce methane 
gas in sufficient quantities to meet a substantial part of our annual 
natural gas consumption. 

At an Ohio feedlot, manure is mixed with waste paper wood 
chips, is composted and used for horticultural crops. In Cali- 
fornia, manure from dairy corrals is bagged, given a German 
name like "Ringderdung," and shipped via the Panama Canal 
to the Rhine River vineyards. 

Thanks to unprecedented advances in science and technology, 
we are beginning to see in agriculture the integration of most 
operations into a comprehensive input-output system of food 
and fiber production. 

Even in animal production operations, we are beginning to 
see an assembly-line type of mass manufacture of eggs, milk 
and meats. Poultry and cattle can be raised in complete con- 
finement with automatically regulated environment, automatic 
feeders, automatic waterers, and mechanized removal of eggs 
and milk. 

Transition from pasture to confinement production has helped 
make it possible to meet the increasing demands for eggs, pork, 
and milk without an increase in the number of hens, pigs and 
dairy cows in the United States. Animal production units of 2 
million hens, 200,000 beef cattle, 100,000 pigs, or 10,000 cows 
on one farm are now operational. 

The average daily consumption of animal products in the 
United States is 1.7 pounds of meat, milk, and eggs. For every 
pound of animal product being consumed, 23 pounds of manure 
have to be disposed of. 

Every day 3.4 million tons of animal manure are produced in 
the United States. If all this manure were to be discharged into 
our streams and lakes, the resulting water pollution would be 




Left, Penn State researchers have found that plants can be grown on bituminous 
strip mine spoil banks by using treated municipal sewage effluent and sludge to 
provide nutrients and improve harsh site conditions. Right, readings show irri- 
gation with effluent cools surface temperature and reduces toxicity of the ex- 
tremely acid spoil. 

equivalent to almost five times the pollution load of raw sew- 
age of the total U.S. population. 

However, agricultural wastes do not create pollution in pro- 
portion to their quantity. Agriculture wastes are responsible for 
less than 3 percent of annual fish kills due to water pollution. 

There is a basic difference between wastes generated by agri- 
cultural food and fiber production and the auto, metal or chem- 
icals industry. The former are natural byproducts which can be 
recycled in the natural cycle. On the other hand, car exhausts, 
metals or plastics undergo little degradation and dispersion by 
natural processes. Nature does not manufacture and, therefore, 
does not have a niche for aluminum cans, plastics, stainless steel, 
or wastes from mining and the manufacturing of long-lasting 

Replanting and reclaiming land scarred by coal and metal 
mining has been shown to be technologically possible. As our 
demand for energy and metals grows, so will our need to return 
our mines into productive lands. 

Refuse Into Steam 

Urban refuse is being turned into steam energy, feed for ani- 
mals, and compost for abandoned strip mine areas. City sewage 
when utilized on agricultural land enhances the productivity of 


the soil. Extensive sandy soils around several large cities in the 
United States are being developed into farming areas. 

Manure can be a natural fertilizer and soil conditioner with- 
out creating gross environmental pollution. Manures produced 
in a year's time contain about 12 million tons of nitrogen and 
3 million tons of phosphates and potash. 

Applied on America's 400 million acres of cropland, manure 
meets only a small percent of our fertilizer needs, however. 
Consequently it is essential that we use commercial fertilizers 
besides animal manures. 

The notion that we can grow without chemicals the neces- 
sary food and fiber for the 3 -soon-to-be- 6 billion people on the 
Earth is absurd. About one- third of our protein nitrogen intake 
in this country originated from man-made and applied nitrogen. 
This figure will continue to increase. 

What will cease to increase is the excessive use of nitrates, 
phosphates, pesticides, and other chemicals. Chemicals that are 
"out of place" are pollutants. Chemicals used at the wrong time, 
for the wrong plant or pest, at the wrong rate, and so on, become 

Pointing to the great contributions of agricultural chemicals 
to the survival and well-being of the human race does not give 
us the license to use these chemicals indiscriminately. Research is 
already beginning to perfect equipment which will apply chem- 
icals at the right dose, at the right time, to the intended target. 

Very little can be disposed of in earth's biosphere without af- 
fecting ecology. Disposal, therefore, must be done in such a way 
and at such a rate that Nature will be able to assimilate it. Man 
must help Nature assimilate his wastes, or we will be sorry. 

By 1977, the beginning of the third century of the American 
Republic, and the beginning of the second century of research 
by State Agricultural Experiment Stations, no pollutants will be 
allowed to be discharged in any of the water bodies of the United 
States from industrial point sources. 

By 1984 all sources of pollution, public and industrial, must 
cease discharge of all pollutants. Strict laws will be enforced on 
car exhaust emissions and power plants by 1977. 

These laws will strain our economic sector, but in the long 
run an ecologically feasible industrial age will emerge. 


Better Mushrooms, Hops, 
Tabasco, and Even Mink 

By Glen W. Goss 

Mushrooms, once an infrequent delicacy in our diet, are 
now enjoyed regularly. Consumption in this country has 
tripled since World War II — from a half pound to a 
pound-and-a-half per person each year. 

Research at State Agricultural Experiment Stations plays a 
major role in perfecting the production, processing, and market- 
ing of commodities of local importance. The mushroom story is 
one of many examples of significant research efforts in helping 
agriculture provide us with some of our more unusual products. 

Pennsylvania produces nearly 60 percent of the U.S. mush- 
room crop. Thus, it is only natural that Pennsylvania State Uni- 
versity scientists have been working with mushroom growers for 
a half century. 

In 1925, C. A. Thomas started 3 5 years of dedication as an en- 
tomologist developing pest control programs. The first research 
facility, a mushroom test house, was completed in 1928 with 
funding support from the Mushroom Growers Cooperative As- 
sociation. Joint efforts in the industry and cooperation with sci- 
entists in the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and at 
other land-grant universities followed as Penn State became a 
focal point of mushroom research and education. 

Today, mushroom growers in Pennsylvania employ close to 
10,000 people and the cash value of their product in 1974 was 
$63.8 million. As in any industry, mushroom growers have faced 
a series of crises. 

In the 1960's, cheap-labor imports from Formosa brought 
concentrated efforts in sharpening production methods and in 
developing markets. 

Glen W. Goss is Director of Agricultural Communications for the College of Agricul- 
ture, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. 


In the 1970's a scare, brought about by a precautionary Food 
and Drug Administration recall, was a temporary threat to the 
canned mushroom market. Research came to the rescue in re- 
sponding to calls for aid from the individual mushroom growers 
and American Mushroom Institute. 

New and safer mushroom products now are on the market in 
competition with foreign imports. Consumers are offered a wide 
variety of mushroom taste treats as growers meet the challenge. 

Development of grain spawn free from pests and disease by 
James W. Sinden in the early 1930's brought significant changes 
to the industry. Stressing mushroom development in relation to 
nutrition beds, Sinden was advised not to work on spawn "as all 
problems in the field were settled, the process is known in its en- 
tirety, and no further improvement could be made." But, seek- 
ing a more dependable medium to use in his tests, he went ahead. 

"One of the first new mediums tested was grain, specifically 
wheat, which was placed in flasks with a small amount of water 
and sterilized. On introduction of the mushroom mycelium 
(small hair-like roots) , I found that it grew very vigorously in 
a manner different than anything I had previously seen." 

Further tests were convincing, and several patents were ob- 
tained on the Sinden Grain Spawn Method in 1932 and 1933. 
Since then, the university's spawn laboratory has been respon- 
sible for 60 to 70 percent of the basic culture in the Nation and 
has been a significant factor in strain selection. 

Average commercial yield in pounds per square foot of bed 
planted has increased from 1.5 in the late 1940's to 2.65 in the 
early 1970's. 

This increased efficiency can be largely attributed to Penn 
State's mushroom research and educational programs in forced 
air ventilation systems, low temperature Phase II composting 
of the growing medium, vegetable oil nutrient supplementation 
of the compost, machine spawning (seeding) of the mushroom 
beds, a pest -management program based on a biological founda- 
tion, and development of a new fungicide for control of certain 
diseases of mushrooms. Another research project has shown that 
loss due to processing shrinkage can be reduced at least 10 percent. 

A Mushroom Test-Demonstration Facility was developed and 
put into operation at Penn State in 1971. A flow-type design 
saved both time and labor. An automatic materials handling sys- 
tem, whose components are integrated by environmental control 
equipment, allows introduction of composting materials as a 


growth base at one end and removal of mushrooms and spent 
compost at the other end. 

This labor-saving approach results in 6.5 crops a year instead 
of 2.5 crops. An annual harvest of 22.7 pounds per square foot 
compares with a traditional 6.5 pound yield. 

This model is showing growers how they can adjust their 
methods to be more competitive in world markets and provide 
you with a delightful array of mushroom products that fit in 
your food budget. 

That Good Beer 

Hopping is something little girls do when they play hopscotch. 
But mention the word to a brewmaster, and his mind will in- 
stinctively run to another kind of hopping — the process that 
gives his beverage the distinctive flavor and aroma that makes beer 
taste like beer. 

Washington's Yakima and Moxee valleys provide more than 65 
percent of the nation's hops. Some 150 farmers receive about $27 
million a year for the crop. The remainder are grown in Oregon, 
Idaho, and California. 

Left unattended, hops flourish like a weed. But, producing 
the high quality demanded by brewmasters is a difficult proposi- 
tion. Historically, hop culture was a family skill passed down 
from father to son. It was under this system that Jacob R. Meeker 
planted Washington's first commercial hops in 1866 in the 
Puyallup Valley not far from Seattle. 

There the industry flourished for nearly two decades. How- 
ever, the relatively wet climate unfortunately provided excellent 
conditions for downy mildew. This fungus drove hop produc- 
tion from Western to Eastern Washington. It also reduced 
Oregon hop production from a peak of 3 5,000 acres to only 
5,300 acres today. 

Diseases, insects and mites, and quality problems caused 
growers to turn to research scientists at Washington State Uni- 
versity's Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center 
near Prosser. Achievements are many and valuable, but three 
stand out: control of diseases and other pests through chemical 
and cultural practices, release of new hop varieties, and de- 
velopment of virus-free planting stocks of new varieties. 

Financial help came when the Washington State Hop Com- 
mission was organized in 1964. Contributing $11,000 a year 


until 1973, the growers voted to increase their assessment for 
research by 50 percent — a measure of their esteem for the work 
of the agricultural scientists. Another significant source of in- 
dustry finance is the $30,000 a year coming from the United 
States Brewers Association. 

These funds greatly increase the effectiveness of research at 
Prosser supported by State and Federal funds. 

The search for better hops began in earnest in Washington in 
1956 when Calvin B. Skotland, a WSU plant pathologist, sur- 
veyed Yakima Valley hop yards where varieties were suffering 
from virus diseases and nutritional deficiencies. He selected 41 
vines for evaluation. After nine years of work, Skotland released 
three lines of cluster-type hop roots with improved quality and 
disease resistance. They quickly became the predominant va- 
rieties in Washington. 

At the same time Stanley N. Brooks, then a USDA Agricul- 
tural Research Service agronomist stationed at Oregon State 
University in Corvallis, developed a cross with superior charac- 
teristics. After 1 6 years of research and development in Washing- 
ton and Oregon, a new variety called Cascade was released in 
1972. It opened a new horizon for Washington's hop industry. 

Cascade, a European-type hop, is preferred by some breweries 
that rely heavily on imports. About 14 million pounds of hops 
are imported every year, but Cascade is expected to cut into that 
market and keep more American dollars at home. 

When first released, Cascade was not certified virus-free. But, 
Skotland had already started research on that problem in 1965. 
Borrowing a technique developed by WSU tree fruit researchers, 
Skotland began growing hops in heat chambers. It takes time 
for viruses to spread to new tissue. So by speeding growth in 
heat chambers, scientists can produce virus-free tissues which 
are clipped off and propagated under carefully controlled cir- 
cumstances which keep the plants disease-free. 

In 1972, Skotland released 21,000 virus-free cuttings of Cas- 
cade hops from which four growers are producing certified virus- 
free stock for sale to the industry. 

A second new variety, Comet, has been released as a high brew- 
ing value hop that should be especially useful for extracting and 
export markets. 

Comet is the result of a cross made by Charles E. Zimmer- 
man, an Agricultural Research Service agronomist then sta- 
tioned at Oregon State University. Jointly released by ARS, 


WSU, and OSU, it is more tolerant to downy mildew crown in- 
fection than the cluster varieties presently grown, and is tolerant 
to ringspot virus found in hops in the Pacific Northwest. 

These are only a few highlights of what scientists are doing to 
help ensure the nation's supply of flavoring for beer, and to help 
make the Pacific Northwest's economy a vital one. 

Tabasco Threatened 

Often we are unaware that, because of agricultural pests, we 
might lose something we enjoy. Spread of TEV (Tabasco etch 
virus) in the Southern United States in the 195 O's threatened 
survival of tabasco sauce — the tangy, taste-tempting treat. This 
wilt disease, spread by aphids, was defeated by a 20-year breed- 
ing program that developed a resistant tabasco pepper variety. 

Louisana experts in the heart of the pepper-growing country 
where tabasco sauce is produced feared in 1959 that if the spread 
of TEV could not be halted, the state would have to stop grow- 
ing the pepper. At this time, W. H. Greenleaf had begun to 
breed TEV-resistant tabasco peppers in the Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station at Auburn, Ala. 

Greenleaf Tabasco, named for the pathologist and plant breed- 
er who developed it, is not only TEV resistant — it boasts several 
other desirable characteristics. The new variety is providing 
growers with resistance to ripe rot; it produces a more con- 
centrated fruit set, thus increasing harvest efficiency; and it has 
a darker yellow immature fruit and a darker red mature fruit, 
as well as stronger pungency. 

Two Indian pepper varieties from Peru provided the resistance 
factor in the painstaking breeding program. Four backcrosses to 
the original tabasco variety were made. The alternating self 
generations were screened for etch resistance after each back- 
cross. Also, at the third backcross level, breeding techniques called 
interline crosses concentrated the genes for other desirable char- 

Your opportunity to enjoy tabasco sauce thus was preserved 
by research. As frequently happens, scientists made no spec- 
tacular overnight discovery. Clues indicating they were on the 
right track provided the encouragement for further improve- 
ments so that we can still have the fiery hot pepper seeds to make 
the vinegar extract that, through processing, becomes tabasco 


Minks and Finks 

Michigan State University's fur-animal research project got 
underway in 1948 with a grant and a gift of mink from the 
Michigan Fur Breeders Association. In addition many other com- 
mercial companies are active supporters of the project (private 
industry and fur-farming organizations at one time were match- 
ing the university's dollar input two to one) . 

Administered by the MSU poultry science department, the 
project has involved scientists from zoology, physiology, and 
veterinary pathology. More than 43 papers were published in 
the past decade. The present work load of the project in- 
cludes a number of studies designed to provide answers to every- 
day problems in the industry. 

A marked increase in mortality of newborn mink developed 
in the mid-1960's, when coho salmon taken from the tributaries 
of Lake Michigan during the spawning run were fed to mink. 
MSU workers found substantial levels of polychlorinated bi- 
phenyls in the salmon, and proved that these chemicals were 
causing deaths in the young mink. 

Recent studies have sought a practical procedure for artificial 
insemination of mink. A procedure for collecting semen by 
electro-ejaculation was developed. In subsequent experiments, 
techniques for handling and extenders for diluting, holding, and 
storing mink semen were tested and evaluated. 

Many shock- type losses associated with anemia have occurred 
on mink ranches. Studies at Michigan State University have been 
established to obtain a clear understanding of the ailment, dis- 
cover the type of anemia involved, determine the heritability 
of the condition, identify the factor responsible for the problem, 
and find a remedy or treatment for the disorder. 

In addition, research is being conducted on mercury poisoning 
from contaminated fish and cereals, blood and cardiovascular 
parameters, and the influence of vitamin E on reproduction in 

Research frequently leads to interesting sidelights, even though 
in some cases the results are negative. 

Because of their vicious nature, mink must be raised in in- 
dividual cages. Scientists have tried tranquilizers and other 
methods to calm them, hoping to be able to raise mink in colonies. 
They have had little success. 

Using artificial breeding techniques developed at Michigan 
State University, Richard Aulerich thought it might be possible 


to breed more calmness into mink by selecting for this trait or 
by crossbreeding with closely related calmer animals. 

The ferret was one possibility. This cross was tried. In discus- 
sing the project, Aulerich said, "If the offspring has the mink's 
fine fur and the ferret's disposition we'll call it a 'merret.' If it 
has the mink's disposition and the ferret's coat, we'll call it a 

Attempted crosses to date have come up with nothing. Aule- 
rich is quite philosophical and says, "We knew that in such a 
cross we could get the ideal we were looking for, or we could 
get a new species of animal, or we could get nothing. So we 
weren't too surprised when we got nothing." 

Peanuts and Pyrazines 

Work with some specialized commodities, such as peanuts, 
can have far-reaching effects. At the Oklahoma Experiment Sta- 
tion a new era of understanding food flavors was ushered in when 
biochemists, while seeking to improve the taste and keeping 
quality of roasted Spanish peanuts, "rediscovered" the important 
role of nitrogenous organic compounds called pyrazines. 

The role of pyrazines had first been discovered by Staudinger 
and Reichstein in 1927. The knowledge went almost unnoticed 
until 1963, when new research was published by M. E. Mason, 
Oklahoma biochemist. With that publication, "the little hole 
in the dike" became the flood. 

At first only five pyrazines were identified. Currently more 
than 100 are known in practically every cooked food consumed 
by humans. 

As a result, your taste buds frequently get a new taste because 
the manufacture and use of pyrazines in flavoring has revolu- 
tionized the food industry with flavorings that were not possible 
ten years ago. 

Oklahoma scientists have developed an improved technique 
for rapid amino acid analysis of peanut varieties. This technique 
will assist scientists in their around-the-world search for pea- 
nuts high in protein and vital amino acids. 

Kicking the Maple Bucket 

Indians used the "sweet water" that flows from a wound in the 
sugar maple each spring as a source of sugar. From colonial times 
through the end of the 19 th Century, maple sugar was an im- 
portant staple in rural New England. After white sugar became 
cheaper, maple sugar and sirup continued to be widely used as 


foods. Today, maple flavor also is found in many food products. 

Production in the nine major maple states remains at about 
one million gallons a year. Vermont usually leads the nation 
with more than a third of the production. 

Since Vermont is almost synonomous with maple, it is only 
natural that Vermont's Agricultural Experiment Station has 
been a leader in maple research. 

Techniques of harvesting and processing maple sap into sirup 
changed little until after World War II. Research at the univer- 
sity's Proctor Maple Research Farm demonstrated advantages of 
continuous flow from tree to gathering tank. Plastic tubing made 
central gathering possible and eliminated buckets on trees that 
had to be gathered regularly, frequently through hip-deep snow. 

Studies of the basic chemistry and physiology of the sugar 
maple (Acer saccharum) started in Vermont nearly 50 years 
ago. Cooperative work is conducted with the new U. S. Forest 
Service facility in Burlington, Vt., USDA's Agricultural Re- 
search Service Laboratory near Philadelphia, Pa., and with other 
State Experiment Stations. 

Techniques have been developed to determine sugar content 
and flow of sap to identify superior trees in a natural stand. 
Vacuum pumping has increased yields from tubing systems, re- 
ducing manpower requirements. 

New evaporator designs utilize modern fuels to reduce the 
time needed to boil away excess water while producing high 
quality sirup. Evaporator studies are being conducted in con- 
junction with the Forest Service, a USDA agency. 

Modern methods also cause problems. With larger producers 
using oil to fire their evaporators, the energy crisis brings a new 
threat. Now research is focused on an automatic wood residue 
fuel system, intended to help maintain production while lower- 
ing costs. 

Farmers practicing the art of maple sugarmaking were helped 
in their battle against long, hard hours and costs as the industry 
emerged from a "cottage handicraft" business to large-scale, self- 
sufficient units. Frequently, producers are now vertically in- 
tegrated from production through processing and marketing 
to make their tasty product available at reasonable cost. 

So if your mouth waters for the tasty sirup of maple on your 
pancakes and other treats, rest assured that maple sugarmakers 
and scientists are working together to keep those maple products 


Systematizing the Tomato, 
Or More Punch for Pizza 

By O. A. Lorenz and Melvin N. Gagnon 

Mention the word "tomatoes" and the mind flashes pleas- 
ing red images of catsup and hamburgers . . . pizza . . . 
spaghetti . . . tomato juice. 

We can almost taste these tangy visions because the canned 
tomato and its many versatile products have become so firmly 
adopted — in fact, are expected — in the American diet. The per 
capita consumption of processed tomato products is equivalent 
to 50 pounds of the fresh fruit that goes into the can or bottle 
as paste, sauce, slices, wedges, stewed or whole tomatoes, or as one 
of the many special sauces or condiments we use constantly to 
spark our meals. 

How was the canned tomato able to achieve such a prominent 
place in America's eating? By a systems approach matching crop 
varieties to cultural practices that enhance their production, and 
to machines that harvest them quickly and efficiently. Each of 
these components must function perfectly if high yields and 
quality are to result. If any one component fails, then the whole 
system fails. 

The systems approach has put the canning tomato industry, 
now centered in California, through an agricultural revolution. 
It has seen the substitution of capital — largely investment in 
machines — for a declining hand-labor force. There has been a 
complete revamping of the production process. We have new, 
higher-yielding plant varieties and ways to grow them. We have 
better harvest, handling, and processing methods that get more 
tomatoes out of the field and into the can. 

O. A. Lorenz is Chairman of the Department of Vegetable Crops, University of 
California, Davis. Melvin N. Gagnon is Educational Communicator — Plant Sciences, UC 
Division of Agricultural Sciences. 


Half Million Tons a Week 

Actually, there are many interlocking systems, from plant- 
ing the seed to getting the final product on the user's plate. To 
see why this is so, consider that during the season peak in Cali- 
fornia more than a half-million tons of raw fruit per week are 
coming off the fields. 

Week by week, this goes on for four months. It starts early in 
the warm southern desert near the Mexican border. Production 
advances gradually northward — more than 600 miles over the 

Orderly movement demands close on-the-farm and between- 
farms scheduling of planting, fertilization, irrigation, pest con- 
trol, harvesting, and hauling. Within and between the regions 
the whole industry must plant and watch and guide this flow 
through constantly changing seasonal conditions. 

The river of tomatoes cannot be allowed to back up or spill 
over once it's moving. 

Before such a tremendous, coordinated system was brought into 
play the California industry was concerned about a shift else- 
where, or at least a serious decline in the state's production. 
Production costs were outrunning raw tonnage prices to farmers. 
The impending shutdown of foreign labor imports gave growers 
visions of their crops rotting in unpicked, unpaid for, fields. 

The "system" reversed those threats. By 1974 production had 
climbed by 50 percent to a national supply of seven million tons 
of raw fruit. California's contribution in 1974 was six million 
tons grown on 250,000 acres and production is still growing 

Ironically, this country no longer exports tomato products. 
Instead, imports help fill the demand created by a taste-hungry 

The changes in California have been good for more than just 
the consumer's appetite: 

• Through the trial years of costly conversion from hand labor 
to machine harvest, retail prices were stable or rose only a few 
cents per can 

• The lack of foreign labor as a domestic tomato production 
problem has dissolved; the sorting of fruit on mechanical har- 
vesters is met predominantly by local rather than foreign or 
migrant American workers. Housewives and high school stu- 
dents now make up a large part of this seasonal force 

Yes, these are dramatic changes easier to look back on than to 


Top left, stoop labor in picking tomatoes was costly and time consuming. Top 
right, mechanical harvesting cuts labor costs and increases production and 
quality of tomatoes for canning. As harvester moves along, conveyor belt drops 
tomatoes into giant truck trailer. Above left, canning tomato production has in- 
creased due to new varieties, such as this Nova variety developed in New York, 
that resist major tomato diseases. Above right, USDA researcher at Washington 
State is seeking new varieties resistant to diseases of Western deserts. 

have predicted. In fact, the far-sighted scientists and engineers 
in California were branded as "crazy" when they started talk- 
ing of picking tomatoes by machine, and began doing something 
about it. They doggedly stuck to their early convictions that 
change would come. It did; it surely did! 

In the 1940's G. C. (Jack) Hanna, an experiment station plant 
breeder in the Department of Vegetable Crops at the University 
of California's Davis campus, began a special series of tomato 
plant crosses. The developing trend already was toward smaller 
plants with the Pearson variety, released shortly before by Oscar 
Pearson of Davis. 

Up until then, most standard varieties, the so-called "non- 
determinant" types, would grow and set fruit continuously over 
the season. They had to be picked repeatedly to take full advantage 
of their fruiting capacity. Each picking, of course, added greatly 
to the production cost. 

Hanna's goal with concentrated fruit set was uniform ripen- 
ing so all the fruits could be taken in one picking. The solution 
went beyond the hand-labor problem; more importantly, it 


showed how today's "once over" mechanical harvesters could be- 
come practical. 

Ideal Tomato Shapes Up 

As his ideal tomato began to shape up, Hanna joined with Coby 
Lorenzen of the UCD Agricultural Engineering Department. 
Both recognized that if a mechanical harvest system was to 
work, the machine and the plant had to be compatible. A wide 
range of individuals — researchers, farmers and industry mem- 
bers — began to contribute. 

Still, critics called the early efforts a waste of time and tax- 
paid research dollars. Hand labor for harvesting tomatoes was 
plentiful through the Bracero program with Mexico, and nobody 
needed a picking machine. 

By 1962, Hanna and Lorenzen had both a variety and a ma- 
chine and two percent of the California acreage used them. In 
four years three-fourths of the crop was machine picked, and 
by 1970 the last few hand-picked field lugs had disappeared. 

The rapid and wide expansion of canning tomato production, 
both seasonally and over a larger area in California, is traceable 
directly to that 1962 variety of Hanna's. 

This first practical variety, VF145 (V denotes resistance to 
verticillium wilt, and F to fusarium wilt plant diseases that de- 
stroy vines or reduce production) , had the outstanding ability to 
set fruits over a wide temperature range. 

Fruit set not only was concentrated so that most tomatoes came 
ripe within a few days of each other, but the early ones hung on 
the vine without spoiling. The thicker walls of the smaller fruits 
withstood the rigors of mechanical picking, especially in those 
rough first years. 

Hanna immediately came out with a second release, VF13L. 
Its small, pear-shaped fruits had skin less subject to cracking, 
and gave canners excellent peeling and high product viscosity — 
qualities especially important in processing. 

All these changes have meant more to California than to other 
States; West Coast production climbed from 65 percent of the 
national production in the early 60's, to 82 percent in the 1973 
harvest. Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and 
Illinois have maintained about the same production, just over 10 
percent, but growers in Delaware, New York, New Jersey, 
Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia have given up ground to 


Midwestern States, and the Eastern States especially, have not 
been able to take to the machine-based system. They still lean 
heavily on hand picking. Weather is the problem. California's 
new varieties are not suited to their frequent summer rains, 
and plants keep growing and fruiting. Also, rain-muddied fields 
stall the heavy harvesting equipment. 

The harvester has evolved somewhat from Lorenzen's first- 
generation design, but still has proved much simpler than most 
early skeptics envisioned. 

The plants are cut at the soil surface, raised onto the machine 
as it moves down the row, and the fruits shaken onto a sorter 
belt. Ripe fruit is conveyed to a trailer moving along with the 
harvester, and hauled to inspection and processing facilities. 

Each harvester carries from 10 to 20 persons to sort out green, 
overripe, or other undesirable fruits. These, along with the vines, 
drop back onto the row and later are worked into the soil. Field 
disposal of discarded fruit helps reduce sewage problems in com- 
munities where canneries are located. 

Speed Proves a Problem 

At first, Lorenzen's team of engineers found their machine 
picked faster than it could unload the ripe fruit. The usual 50- 
pound field lugs filled up so quickly they couldn't be moved and 
stacked quickly enough. 

The engineers switched to large bins. Surprisingly, the highly 
perishable tomato showed it could withstand the pressure of be- 
ing piled in large amounts, and 1,000-pound capacity bins be- 
came the standard. 

However, with machines now able to pick 100 tons of tomatoes 
per day, and cover up to 25 acres of crop per week, even the bins 
proved too small. Most of the industry, therefore, has shifted 
again, this time to bulk trailers that each hold an amazing 12 
tons of fruit. 

Early machine harvest cost was only slightly less than hand 
harvest. As the bugs were worked out, harvesting costs dropped 
to today's average of about $12 per ton. It is even lower in high- 
yield fields. 

With present efficiencies, costs now are estimated at from 50 
to 75 percent of what hand harvest would cost in California. 
Unfortunately, no data base is available for comparison because 
there has been no hand-picking for several years. 


But what is known is this: an exceptional worker could hand- 
pick up to two tons of tomatoes per day, putting them into lug 
boxes dragged along the row and carried to roadside when full. 
The average pick, however, was closer to one ton per day. On 
that basis the 1973 California production of five million tons 
would have called for five million man-days of hand labor, a 
workforce input no longer available. 

Not only has the number of workers engaged in harvest op- 
erations dropped, from a California peak of around 45,000, to 
15,000 to 18,000 now, but the number of commercial growers 
in the state has gone from several thousand down to 600. 

The systems approach does require larger acreages to use 
machinery efficiently. The average processing tomato operation 
now is at least 300 acres. The tremendous investment required 
limits grower diversification into other crops, so today's fewer 
growers are essentially specialized. 

California's crop is picked by a fleet of around 1,400 machines, 
each now costing over $50,000. The original University of Cali- 
fornia licensed design is still prominent. Three companies cur- 
rently handle the manufacturing needs. In mechanization's first 
years, adaptations and valuable changes came from countless, 
small equipment shops and farmer-innovators. 

Research on cultural practices has proved as important as 
the varieties and the machine. It has provided a timing system 
that begins harvest when about 70 percent of the fruit in the 
field is ripe. Within a few days 90 percent will be ready, and 
before the field is done many operators will be pulling off 95 
percent of the vines' capacity. 

18 Tons an Acre to 25 

The obvious dividend from cultural research has been the 
tremendous yield increase over the past 10 years, still using the 
same basic varieties: The yield has shot from 18 tons per acre 
to 2 5 tons state average. 

Initial studies quickly demonstrated why precise management 
is important at all stages of tomato plant culture. Uniform fruit 
maturity demands uniform plant growth. This requires a good 
seedbed, free of large clods, for good seedling emergence and so 
preplant herbicides will keep competing weeds in check. 

Uniform beds are essential for effective tillage, for the use of 
mechanical thinners, and for applying or incorporating pesticides 
and fertilizers. 


Plant schedules that provide orderly harvest have been noted. 
But it also was found that direct-seeding had to replace trans- 
planting. Plant populations went from several thousand per 
acre to an optimal 30,000 to 50,000 to help build yield. While 
this suggests that 100,000 plants might produce even more, such 
is not the case. Extensive trials proved that such a volume of plants 
is not worth the added cost. 

Precision fertilization is most important. Nutrients must be 
plentiful and available to young seedlings. Researchers found 
that starter solutions placed under the seed get plants off and 
running together. Placement and timing of later applications 
can also be critical, and soil type must be considered. 

Plants must be adequately, but not excessively, supplied with 
nutrients. It is important that they use up the nitrogen supply 
and stop growing, helping the crop mature uniformly for once- 
over harvest. 

In contrast, over-fertilization with nitrogen produces excess 
foliage that slows harvest, and scatters and delays fruit-set and 
ripening. It also contributes unnecessarily to buildup of chemicals 
in the environment. 

Irrigation, too, came under a system. The new canning tomato 
varieties are faster growing and with their loads of fruit all 
maturing at virtually the same time, water management can be 
critical. However, irrigations are discontinued from 1 days to as 
long as 40 days before harvest to get the plant to "shut down" 
for picking. Withholding water just before harvest also substan- 
tially improves the solids content of the fruit. 

Weed and other pest control must fit into the production 
schedule. Weedy fields rob the tomato plants of vital growth and 
make harvesting difficult. Insects and diseases can kill or stunt 
growth, and affect both yield and quality. Since pests and their 
control are highly complex, researchers have had to determine 
the most suitable materials, their timings, and the methods of ap- 

Virtually all chemical applications follow university-developed 
guidelines for productivity, as well as safety to the crop, environ- 
ment, and workers. State and Federal laws, enforced by county 
agricultural commissioners, guard against chemical abuses. 

Since growers are responsible for violation of chemical residue 
tolerances — if any — on their products, the most direct safeguard 
is an economic one. The canner will reject tomatoes suspected or 
proved to carry illegal residues. 


The best way to eliminate the added costs of pesticides, and the 
questions of safety, is to eliminate the need for external chemical 
control. Therefore, the long term research goal continues to be 
development of plants naturally resistant to insects and diseases. 
Complete resistance, however, is a long way off. 

Uniform Ripening 

Research also has continued in each of the other phases of 
production that we have outlined in this tomato story. The new- 
est and perhaps most exciting innovation is the use of chemicals 
to promote uniform fruit ripening. Ethrel (chlorethylophos- 
phonic acid), an ethylene-yielding compound, is applied to the 
plants at concentrations of 500 to 1,000 parts per million. 

The ethylene, a natural plant hormone, hastens the ripening 
of mature-green fruits but does not affect the immature green 
or those already showing red. The net effect is more ripening 
uniformity and more useable fruit from the plant for the one- 
pick process. 

Also on the horizon are new varieties that will have better 
flavor and color, higher solids, increased vitamin C content, 
higher viscosity, and firmness to withstand pressures in bulk 

Plant breeders agree there has been sacrifice in flavor and tex- 
ture to get the systems approach functioning. They accept 
responsibility and are, in fact, taking leadership for improving 
the nutritional quality of tomatoes. This is an especially promis- 
ing field, because in these experimental years they have discovered 
more of the biochemical components involved and the genetic 
pathways for altering them for man's benefit. 

Again, the varietal improvements will almost certainly require 
changes in many of the "new" cultural operations. Such factors 
as row spacings, plant populations, weed control, fertilization, 
and irrigation will change as the new varieties are introduced and 
as innovative research demonstrates the changes which should be 

Machines presently under development will do a better job of 
harvesting the fruits and will have the capacity for more rapid 
harvest. Some of the newest machines have twice the capacity 
as those in use five years ago. 

Yes, continued research to improve and integrate the com- 
ponents of the production system will play an important part 
in the still-unlimited development of this dynamic industry. 


The People— Food Race, 
And How to Win It 

By Joseph J. Marks, H. R. Fortmann, J. B. Kendrick, and S. H. Wittwer 

Here we go into the future. It could be a pretty rough trip. 
World population keeps growing. Energy and other re- 
sources are limited. Some accommodation for this situation 
must be found. 

We could keep going the way we are. That means we find some 
miracle that gives us boundless new resources ... or that we just 
continue using up our resources in one final orgy of 20th century 

Or we can take another route. Change life styles — at least 
enough to buy time for agricultural scientists to learn how to 
squeeze more out of every acre. 

As agricultural experts, we are optimistic about food produc- 
tion. We think we can "feed the world of tomorrow" ... by 
reshaping plants to make better use of photosynthesis, by har- 
vesting the oceans, by building super plants and animals, by "in- 
venting" food in ways that haven't even been thought of yet. 

That may not be enough, unless we solve some "people prob- 
lems" too. 

There is increasing evidence that we must have population con- 
trol. If population projections for the future hold true (the 
United Nations has predicted there will be 12.3 billion human be- 
ings on this planet before the numbers level off in the next cen- 
tury) , we must either control population or create a Shortage 

Even if it were possible to feed, clothe and house all these 

Joseph J. Marks is Science News Director, University of Missouri. H. R. Fortmann is 
Regional Coordinator, Northeast Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors. 
J. B. Kendrick is Vice President, Agricultural Sciences, and Director, Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station, University of California. S. H. Wittwer is Director, Agricultural Experiment 
Station, Michigan State University. 



Right, Rutgers specialists brought trickle irrigation and mulching to this Niger- 
ian village, in research on extending limited water resources. Left, youngsters 
in Nigerian refugee camp dip into daily bowl of high-protein porridge. They 
also are furnished with milk daily, in U.S.-assisted program. 

projected billions, we could expect a whale of a lot of other 
problems with people living under such crowded conditions. 

Those of us involved in science have, heretofore, contributed 
mainly to the technical innovations that relate to such "people 
problems." We think it's time for scientists to move out from 
behind their test tubes to give guidance to world leaders. We 
expect scientists to become more involved in the social issues of 
the day and apply what reasoned knowledge they can to help solve 

What are research priorities for the future? It's easy to con- 
clude that we need more of everything: more research on the 
environment, plants and animals, the elements, etc. Equally im- 
portant is how we get the job done. 

You've heard the cliches: "teamwork" . . . "pulling together" 
. . . "interdisciplinary research" . . . 

Cliche or not, that's the way it's got to be if we are going to be 
successful. Agricultural problems no longer are the exclusive 
property of agricultural scientists. Right now, around the world, 
we're designing more coordinated attacks on agricultural prob- 
lems that involve the diverse talents and resources of many or- 
ganizations and institutions. 

More important, however, is the feeling that we must work to- 
gether for the whole human race. 

That love . . . that caring for all those who reside on this 


humble planet ... is the most important influence on research 

Our research programs must know no borders, geographical or 
otherwise. We must avoid being locked into old formulas, organ- 
izational patterns and concepts. We must build a broader basic 
research base. 

If agriculture is to do all this and feed those projected billions 
of people, our claim on energy needs must come ahead of air- 
conditioning, personal transportation, and the like. In other 
words, it calls for financial and moral support for agricultural 
research as an investment in developing and conserving energy. 

As we keep building on that international resource we call food 
production, we must keep in mind that a research effort must be 
based on environmental management. 

Making Allies of Nature 

The idea is to make allies of the components of nature and 
think in terms of getting the greatest return in food production 
with the least expenditure of energy. It means we don't spend the 
money and resources required to wipe out every disease or pest 
that comes along. We learn to -manage pests with the least cost to 
ourselves and our invironment. 

Population control ... a broader research base . . . environ- 
mental management . . . teamwork. Those are the requirements 
for the future. 

We have only so much talent, skill and money. How do we use 
them most effectively? We asked this question of the Agricul- 
tural Experiment Station directors and land grant universities 
across the country. 

Here are some of their priorities: 

Monitor the environment. That means knowing our environ- 
ment from the inside of molecules to outer space. The informa- 
tion-gathering capabilities of electron microscopes and orbiting 
satellites provide warnings of disease and insect outbreaks and 
help us manage our environment. 

Watch weather and climate. Scientists estimate that 60 to 80 
percent of the variability in crop production, whether boom or 
bust, can be explained by weather variability. The message: Don't 
take climate for granted; help plants and animals (including hu- 
mans) adapt to it. 

Advanced weather forecasting and weather modification, plus 


computerized farm management, will help farmers take full 
advantage of rainfall, sunshine and temperature changes. 

Build gene "banks." The idea is to avoid genetic vulnerability. 
Complete characterization of genetic lines stored in computer 
banks will give us insurance that new varieties and species can 
be brought forth to replace those being toppled by existing dis- 
eases, pests, or other environmental conditions. 

Use the sun. Scientists recognize the sun as an "endless" 
energy source that can be used directly (solar heat) or indirectly 
(photosynthesis) . 

Engineers have made breakthroughs to exploit solar heat. Other 
scientists have only begun to tap the photosynthesis miracle 
which offers tremendous potential for increased food produc- 
tivity. More about that under the next item . . . 

Maximize protein energy. We need a bigger research effort on 
the two most important energy producing biochemical processes 
on earth: Photosynthesis and biological nitrogen fixation. 

With photosynthesis, the plant traps energy from sunlight and 
uses this energy to grow. Scientists already are changing plants' 
shapes so more leaf area is exposed to the sun, thus improving their 
sunlight trapping system. 

In the case of biological nitrogen fixation, soil microorganisms 
and certain plants work together to trap nitrogen from the air. 
Since fertilizer nitrogen is one of those limited resources, you can 
see the value of exploiting this natural nitrogen fixation process. 

To state it bluntly, we must aim for the energy/protein limits 
in crop production. 

This means new strategies for pest control, protective cultiva- 
tion, multiple and intensive cropping, reduced tillage, using plant 
growth regulators, and so on. And we must circumvent environ- 
mental limitations, improve quality, enhance production and aid 
crop harvesting. 

As part of building protein, we should upgrade it in plants 
and make better use of it in animals. Plant scientists are building 
essential amino acids (like lysine in corn and sorghum) . Their 
job: upgrade plant protein so it can be substituted for animal 
protein in human diets. 

Animal scientists are building protein by using nonprotein 
nitrogen (like urea or anhydrous ammonia) and combining it 
with corn silage and other roughages as a ration for ruminants 
(dairy cows, beef cattle, sheep) . This way, livestock are less com- 
petitive with man for protein and energy, because the animal is 


Top left, harvesting fish farm pond, 
Thailand. Top right, Corriedale ewe 
with her three lambs, Iran. Bottom, 
solar heat collector is tested for dry- 
ing grain; this Ohio research is 
funded in part with a National 
Science Foundation grant adminis- 
tered by USDA. 

converting what we cannot use into nutritious meat and milk. 

Put it all together — for animals. That means exploiting their 
genetic potential (such things as multiple births and weight- 
gaining efficiency) . 

It also means building diets for optimum conversion of energy 
into meat, milk, and eggs. 

Waste not. An ultimate goal is to recycle all plant and animal 
waste through the food chain — as an energy producer, animal 
feed and/or crop fertilizer. 

Farm the waters. Since two-thirds of this planet is covered by 
water, it seems logical to investigate water fully as a food source. 

Water — whether ocean or pond — could be a great protein 
producer, whether you're growing algae, lobsters, oysters, salmon, 
shrimp, catfish, or whatever. 

Perfect the package. Efforts are being made to save some of 
the energy and billions of dollars spent each year to package 
products. Aim: recyclable packages. It may even mean recon- 
stituting or eliminating conventional packages so the end product 
is in more readily consumable form. (Would you believe shell- 
less eggs?!) 

Streamline distribution. We must cope with the food logistics 
problem — from production to processor to user. That means 


building systems that minimize or eliminate the energy we now 
waste by moving too much bulk too far. 

Reward the farmer. A major research priority is to give farmers 
an incentive for the job they do. These rewards, whether in the 
form of fair incomes and/or other benefits, will help us get and 
keep the quality of people we need in this profession. 

There you have some of the ideas of future research priorities 
as we see them. They are intentionally quite general. We figured 
our colleagues had the benefit of the previous chapters of this 
book to get into more of the specifics. 

Agricultural Experiment Stations must be in the forefront 
for designing systems to improve the quality of life of all our 
citizens. Economists, nutritionists, sociologists, plant and animal 
scientists, engineers and others must work together to achieve 
these ends. All need to keep an eye on the environment as the 
pressures of limited resources continue to mount. 

As we talk of the future, we recognize that we are dealing 
in speculation. But we also know that unless we continually carry 
out research, we'll be forced into some intolerable situations. It's 
much less expensive to act to prevent these crises than to react 
once the damage is done. 

That Delicate Balance 

We recognize full well the importance of reassessing our na- 
tional goals. We see the need for well balanced, interdisciplinary 
teams to screen, guide and project national programs and pro- 
vide the support for sound agricultural research. We also see 
the need for maintaining a delicate balance between man and 
his environment as we carefully use energy, land, water and our 
nonrenewable minerals. 

Looking back and considering the odds, the mere handful of 
publicly-supported agricultural research scientists have wrought 
miracles. There are only about 10,000 scientists at the 55 State 
Agricultural Experiment Stations and the U. S. Department of 
Agriculture. Yet, they deal with nearly 500 major commodities 
and resources — all subjected to a mind-boggling galaxy of prob- 
lems and all deserving their full attention. 

We think that team of agricultural scientists and farmers have 
done quite well, thank you. Our people are not only fed, but fed 
well with the world's most plentiful supply of nutritious, health- 
ful food for the smallest part of their incomes anywhere in the 
world. But that's in the past. The tougher job lies ahead. 


State Agricultural 
Experiment Stations 


Agricultural Experiment 

Auburn University 
Auburn, AL 36830 


Institute of Agricultural 

University of Alaska 
Fairbanks, AK 99701 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Arizona 
Tucson, AZ 85721 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Arkansas 
Fayetteville, AR 72701 


Universitywide Admin. 
Agricultural Experiment 

University of California 
Berkeley, CA 94720 


Agricultural Experiment 

Colorado State University 
Fort Collins, CO 80521 


Agricultural Experiment 

P. O. Box 1106 
New Haven, CT 06504 

Agricultural Experiment 

University of Connecticut 
Storrs, CT 06268 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Delaware 
Newark, DE 19711 


University of Florida 
Institute of Food and 

Agricultural Sciences 
Gainesville, FL 32601 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Georgia 
Athens, GA 30602 


Resource Development Center 
University of Guam 
P. O. Box EK 
Agana, GU 96910 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Hawaii 
Honolulu, HI 96822 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Idaho 
Moscow, ID 83843 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Illinois 
109 Mumford Hall 
Urbana, IL 61801 


Agricultural Experiment 

Purdue University 
West Lafayette, IN 47907 


Agricultural & Home 
Economics Experiment 

Iowa State University 

Ames, IA 50010 


Agricultural Experiment 

Kansas State University 
113 Waters Hall 
Manhattan, KS 66506 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Kentucky 
Lexington, KY 40506 


Agricultural Experiment 

Louisiana State University 

and A&M College 
Drawer E, University Station 
Baton Rouge, LA 70803 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Maine 
105 Winslow Hall 
Orono, ME 04473 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Maryland 
College Park, MD 20742 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Massachusetts 
Amherst, MA 01002 


Agricultural Experiment 

Michigan State University 
East Lansing, MI 48823 

Agricultural Experiment 

University of Minnesota 
St. Paul Campus 
St. Paul, MN 55101 


Agricultural and Forestry 

Experiment Station 
Mississippi State University 
P. O. Drawer ES 
Mississippi State, MS 39762 



Agricultural Experiment 

University of Missouri 
Columbia, MO 65201 


Agricultural Experiment 

Montana State University 
Bozeman, MT 59715 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Nebraska 
Lincoln, NB 68503 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Nevada 
Reno, NV 89507 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of New Hampshire 
Durham, NH 03824 

Agricultural Experiment 

Rutgers University 
P. O. Box 231 
New Brunswick, NJ 08903 


Agricultural Experiment 

New Mexico State University 
P. O. Box 3BF 
Las Cruces, NM 88003 


Agricultural Experiment 

Cornell University 
Cornell Station 
Ithaca, NY 14850 

Agricultural Experiment 

State Station 
Geneva, NY 14456 


Agricultural Experiment 

North Carolina State 

Box 5847 
Raleigh, NC 27607 


Agricultural Experiment 

North Dakota State University 
State University Station 
Fargo, ND 58102 


Ohio Agricultural Research 
and Development Center 
Ohio State University 
Columbus, OH 43210 


Agricultural Experiment 

Oklahoma State University 
Stillwater, OK 74074 


Agricultural Experiment 

Oregon State University 
Corvallis, OR 97331 

Agricultural Experiment 

Pennsylvania State University 
229 Agricultural Admin. Bldg. 
University Park, PA 16802 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Puerto Rico 
P. O. Box H 
Rio Piedras, PR 00928 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Rhode Island 
Kingston, RI 02881 


Agricultural Experiment 

Clemson University 
Clemson, SC 29631 


Agricultural Experiment 

South Dakota State University 
Brookings, SD 57006 

Agricultural Experiment 

University of Tennessee 
P. O. Box 1071 
Knoxville, TN 37901 


Agricultural Experiment 

Texas A&M University 
College Station, TX 77843 


Agricultural Experiment 

Utah State University 
Logan, UT 84322 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Vermont 
Burlington, VT 05401 


Agricultural Experiment 

Virginia Polytechnic Institute 

and State University 
Blacksburg, VA 24061 


Agricultural Experiment 

P. O. Box 166 

College of the Virgin Islands 
Kingshill, St. Croix, VI 00850 


Agricultural Experiment 

Washington State University 
Pullman, WA 99163 


Agricultural Experiment 

West Virginia University 
Morgantown, WV 26506 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Wisconsin 
Madison, WI 53706 


Agricultural Experiment 

University of Wyoming 
University Station, Box 3354 
Laramie, WY 82070 



/^olor pages carry no page numbers. For credit purposes, the first 
color page is I, and so on through XXXII. State organizations are 
listed for the most part only by the State's name. 

Alabama (Auburn University), XII 
(upper left), XXIX (top), 151, 154, 
155 (top right), 203 (top left) 

Alaska, XVI (bottom inset) 

American Agriculturist, 223 

The American Farmer, 173, 249 

Arizona, XXIV (top), 121, 209 (right) 

Catherine Arnold, Louisiana State Uni- 
versity, 259 (left) 

Avco New Idea Farm Equipment, cour- 
tesy of Michigan Farmer, XXIV (bot- 

Baker Commodities, Inc., 276 

Robert Bjork, USDA, XVIII (center 
three photos), 115, 206 (top two 
photos), 208, 227, 229 (left) 

Tracy Borland, University of California 
(Davis), XXI (bottom right) 

University of California (Berkeley), 6 
(left), 30, 196 (top) 

University of California (Davis), VI 
(left), XIV (top), XIX (top), 211 
(two photos, third row), 275 

University of California (Riverside), 
XXVI (top left), XXVI-XXVII 
(bottom), 36, 37, 171, 172, 173 
(left), 175, 243, 302 (top, lower 

California- Arizona Cotton, photo by 
Dan Weldon, XXI (top left) 

California Tomato Growers Association, 
Inc., XVI-XVII (large photo) 

Caterpillar Tractor Co., XXV 

Jack K. Clark, University of California 

(Davis), XIII (bottom), XXX (all 


D. Vann Cleveland, University of Geor- 
gia, I, XXI (top right), 131, 165 
Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., V (center) 
Colorado, 76, 77, 282, 283 

Connecticut (New Haven), XXVIII 
(top), 3, 5, 6 (right), 45, 67 (right), 

Donald E. Didier, Louisiana, 270 


Malcomb W. Emmons, Ohio State Uni- 
versity, 291 (all photos) 

The Farmer, painting by Mrs. George H. 
(Dorothea) Paul, IV (top) 

Jim Ferguson, Nebraska, IX (upper 

C. L. Fitch, Iowa State University, 211 
(top two photos) 

Florida, XV (top, center), XXVI (top 
right), XXVIII (bottom), XXIX 

Florida Grower and Rancher, photo by 
Chuck Woods, IFAS, Gainesville, Fla., 
XIV (bottom) 

Food and Agriculture Organization of 
the United Nations (FAO), 349 (top 
two photos) 

Frigidaire, 262 (bottom), 265 (right) 

Georgia, 222 

William G. Hart, ARS, Weslaco, Texas, 
XXXII (bottom) 

Jack Hayes, 13, 179 

R. W. Henderson, XIII (upper left) 

Chuck Herron, USDA, XI (center, bot- 
tom), XXXI (top, bottom right) 

Paul Hixon, Illinois, II-III, X (upper 
left), 7 

Hoard's Dairyman, 147 (left) 

Wolfgang Hoffman, Wisconsin, 60 (bot- 

Illinois, VII (both photos), X (bottom 
right), 216, 274, 297 (bottom right) 

Iowa, 134 (left), 136, 137, 206 (bottom 
right), 296 (all photos) 

Kansas Farmer, XXIII (top) 

Kansas State Historical Society, 27 (cour- 
tesy of Drovers Journal), 140 (left) 
John Kucharski, USDA, XXXII (top) 
Otto R. Kunze, Texas A&M, XIII (upper 

Raymond Lepine, Jr., Louisiana, 259 

Maryland, 230 

John McKinney, Progressive Farmer, 169 
Michigan, XI (top) 
Michigan Farmer, 113 
Walter H. Miller, Williamsburg, Va, V 

Mississippi, XX (bottom) 
Montana, IX (bottom, both photos) 
J. R. Morris, University of Arkansas, 

XIII (center) 

National Live Stock and Meat Board, 

XXII (bottom), XXIII (bottom) 
National Wool Grower, 92 
Nebraska, XXII (center), 271, 297 

(top, bottom left) 
Nebraska Farmer, VIII (bottom) 
New Hampshire, 324 (bottom) 
New York, 339 (above left) 
C. B. Neiberding, 140 (right) 
Ohio, X (center left), XX (top), XXIV 

(center left), XXXI (bottom left), 

32, 101, 209 (left), 262 (left), 265 

(left), 349 (bottom) 
Oklahoma, 67 (left), 71, 72 (left) 
Oregon, 83, 199 (right), 293 
Pennsylvania, 118, 123, 146, 163 (right), 

195, 196 (bottom left), 327 (both 


Plains Cooperative Oil Mill, XVII (in- 

Progressive Farmer, XV (bottom) 

Progressive Grocer, 269 (top right) 

Carl Purceli, AID, VIII (top), 346 

Purdue University, 42 (left) , 43 

Rutgers University, 60 (top), 87, 346 

R. K. Showalter, Florida, XVI (top in- 

South Carolina (Clemson University), 
XVIII (top) 

South Dakota, 185 

Sperry-New Holland, 203 (top right) 

Perry Struse, X (bottom), XXIV (cen- 
ter right) 

Tennessee, XVIII (bottom) 

Texas, VI (right, both photos), XXII 

Texas Farmer-Stockman, 163 (left) 

Today's Farmer, 134 (right) 

Utah, 246 (left) 

Wallaces Farmer, photo by Robert Dun- 
away, XIX (bottom) 

Fred Ward, for USDA, XXI (bottom 

David F. Warren, 65, 147 (right) 

Washington State, 56 (left), 72 (right), 
160 (right), 163 (top), 199 (left), 
238 (top), 241, 339 (above right), 

Washington State Apple Commission, 
XII (upper right) 

Wisconsin, 129, 295, 325 (right) 

George Yates, Mihvaukee Journal, 49 



Aamodt, 0. S., 228 
Acer saccharum, 336 
Achromycin, 86 
Actinomycetes, photo, 87 
A. E. Staley Co., 228 
Africa, 214, 282, 318, 319, 321 
Agency for International Devel- 
opment (AID), 320 
Agricultural Adjustment Act, 
48 ; domestic allotment plan, 
52 ; raising farmer's pur- 
chasing power, 48 
Agricultural Adjustment Admin- 
istration, cotton reduction 
program, 48; land use, 53; 
research projects, 54 
Agricultural economics, 47-54 
Agricultural Experiment Sta- 
tions, early need for, 22; 
first, 2 ; German, 4-5 ; State, 
Agriculture, U.S. Department of : 

establishment, 313 
Agway, Inc., 305 

Alabama: TEV-resistant tabasco 
peppers, 333; zinc recognized 
as essential nutrient, 293 
Alaska : Institute of Agricultural 
Science, 39; irrigated areas, 
239 ; pipeline, 39 
Alfalfa, 184-185, 203, 301 
Alkali, 240, 245 
Allard, H. A., 226 
Allison, J. B., 295 
Altitude: high altitude table of 

cities and towns, 283 
Aluminum, 199, 257, 327 
Amadon, R. S., 83 
American chestnut, 194 
American elm, 194 
American Mushroom Institute, 

American Revolution, 14 
American Soybean Association, 

226, 234 
American Soybean Association 

Research Foundation, 235 
Amino acids, 43, 45, 88, 143, 294, 

335, 348 
Amsoy, 228 

Anderson, James H., 201-212 
Anemia, 289, 293 
Angus cattle, 117, 119 
Animal: artificial insemination, 

334; breeding, 251 
Animal disease: contagious bo- 
vine pleuropneumonia, 75- 
77; encephalitis, 79; heart, 
77; lung, 77; skin, 86; tick 
fever, 75, 82, 83; tuberculosis, 
86; Venezuelean equine en- 
cephalitis, 79 
Animal nutrition, 34 
Animal protein factor (APF), 

Antarctic, 325 
Anthelmintics, 93 
Anthrax, 66 
Anthuriums, 179 
Antibiotics, 2, 85-98 
Antioxidants, 274 
Aphids, 101, 104 
Aphytis maculicornis, 100 
Appert, Nicholas, 255, 267 
Apple: breeding programs, 161; 
cider, 159; codling moth, 166; 
commercially processed, 167; 
cuttings, 161; Delicious, pho- 
to, 160; disease, 169; dwarf, 
162-164; Golden Delicious, 
photo, 160; grafting, 161; 
harvester photo, 163; jams, 

jellies, wines, 167-168; John- 
ny Appleseed, 158; orchards, 
158-168; propagation, 162; 
research, 165; rootstock, 161; 
seedling trees, 159; storage, 
166-167; thinning, 164; va- 
rieties, 159-161 
Apricots, 275 
Aquaculture, 150 
Arctic, 39 
Argentina, 30, 112 
Arizona, cattle, 121; elevation, 
283; evidence of irrigation 
system, 237; fluorine active 
in mottled tooth enamel, 294; 
increased yields from water- 
sheds, 240-241; information 
to co-ops, 301; irrigated cot- 
ton, 204; machine harvest of 
lettuce, 209; parasites, 101; 
photo, 209; rapid develop- 
ment of agriculture, 239; 
statehood, 16; studies on irri- 
gation, 246 
Arkansas : accounting systems 
and ratio analysis, 308; early 
soybean variety selected, 226; 
Race 4 soybean variety de- 
veloped, 231 
Arksoy, 226 
Arnautka, 69 
Artificial insemination, 123-124, 

Asia, 100, 214, 282, 319 
Asparagus, 256 
Aspen, 191 
Asphalt, 242 

Associated Standby Pool Cooper- 
ative, 307 
Atrazine, 232 

Atwater, Wilbur O., 4-5, 290 
Auburn: fishpond development, 
150-157; University, photo, 
Aulerich, Richard, 334 
Aureomycin, discovery, 2; prod- 
uct of fermentation, 89 
Australia, animal protein factor 
(APF), 87; corn, 112; dis- 
ease spread, 76; wheat, 69 
Automobile, 56-58 
Autosow, 34 

Bacillus thuringiensis, 102 

Bacitracin, 89 

Back-crossing, 229 

Bacteria, 257, 276 

Bacterium, 231 

Baker, Gladys L., 47-54 

Bankhead-Jones Act, 52, 53, 228 

Barberry, 70-71 

Barley, 201 

Barnes, Kenneth K„ 201-212 

Beale, William J., 215, 219 

Beef: breeds, 117, 119; cross- 
breeding, 119; genetics, 117, 
119; inbreeding, 119; nutri- 
tion, 117, 120; production, 
117; products, 116; research, 
117, 120, 309 

Beer: 331, 333 

Beeson, 228 

Bengal famine, 106 

Bernard, R. L., 229, 231 

Bicycle, photo, 3 

Bigtree, 198 

Biological control by natural ene- 
mies, 100 

Blackhawk, 230 

Blacktongue, 294 

Bohlen, JoeM., 55-64 

Bohstedt, G., 139-148 

Boll Weevil, 48 

Boston Regional Federal Order, 

Botulism poisoning, 257, 258, 260 

Boulder Canyon Project A«t, 240 

Bovine brucellosis, 78 

Branding calves, photo, 28 

Brazil, 106, 235 

Bread, 270, 279, 282, 285; using 
soy flours, 233 

Breeding, animal, 251 

Brewer, W. H., 4 

Brim, C. A., 231 

Bristlecone Pine, 191 

Broiler: 302, 309; antibiotics for, 
130; cages, photo, 131; com- 
puterization, 132; develop- 
ment, 125; disease, 93; food, 
128-130; health plan, 132; 
mechanical harvesting, pho- 
to, 131; production, 125; vi- 
tamins, 128, 130 

Brisket disease, photo, 77 

Brooks, D. W., 300 

Brooks, Stanley N., 332 

Brown, G. W., 21 

Browning reaction, 275 

Brucella, 78-80 

Bruhn, H. D., 202 

Brush, 191, 195 

Buchele, W. F., 202 

Buck, J. M., 78 

Bumgardner, Harvey L., 125-132 
Bureau of Animal Industry, 77 

Bureau of Human Nutrition and 
Home Economics, 254 

Butter, 43, 141 

Cake: flour, 234; recipe adjust- 
ment guide for high alti- 
tudes, 284 
Calcium, 144, 252, 292 

California: California Water 
Plan, 240; canning tomato 
industry, 337; climate favor- 
able for grain combine, 212; 
concerned with "duty of wa- 
ter", 245; development of hu- 
man nutrition, 289; hops 
grown, 331; increased yields 
from watersheds, 240-241; 
information to co-ops, 301; 
machine harvest of lettuce, 
209; milk, 140; photos, 196, 
211, 243, 275, 276, and 302; 
production, 49; the rapid 
development of agriculture, 
239; research, photos, 30, 37; 
revolutionized tomato har- 
vesting, 207; second State 
Agricultural Experiment 
Station, 2-8; Spanish settlers, 
12; spores found in soil sam- 
ples, 257; Statehood, 16; stud- 
ies on irrigation, 246; Uni- 
versity of, 245, 339; vaccine 
for VEE, photo, 79 

Calland, 228 

Calories, 250, 254; from soybeans, 

Camels, 83 

Canada, 30, 91, 235 

Canals: Ail-American Canal, 240; 
diverting water to, 239; lin- 
ing, 242 

Canning: 234; 255-260; bulletins 
available, 260; industry devel- 
opment, 268; open-kettle 
method, 256; process devel- 


oped, 267; processing 1 time, 
266, 287; soybean variety 
suitable, 230; spoilage, 256, 
257; tomato industry, 337— 
Cantaloups, 209 
Carbon dioxide, 282 
Carnegie Institute, 107 
Carotene, 292 

Carver, George Washington, 27 
Cascade, 332 
Catlsh, 349 

Cattle: disease, 75; European, 
76; feeding, 121, 241; meat 
production, 76; production, 
118; research, 75, 119; 326; 
slaughter, 141; trading, 76 
Cattle tick fever, 82 
Cellulose, 122, 143 
Cenex, 304, 305 
Central America, 214, 224, 318 
Centrifugal milk separator, 140 
Cercoapora, 73 
Cereals: 250, 260, 268, 277 
Chapman, John, Johnny Apple- 
seed, 158 
Cheese: cottage, 279; dairy prod- 
ucts, 268 
Chemicals: agricultural, 303, 306, 
314; buildup in environment, 
343; controlling weeds in soy- 
bean fields, 232; covering 
reservoirs, 242 ; pest control- 
ling, 325; preventing rancid- 
ness, 274 
Chemical change on the farm, 59- 

Cherries, 256, 268 
Cherry picker, photo, 113 
Chesapeake Bay, 36 
Chestnut blight disease, 111, 194 
Chickens: antibotics, 85; back- 
yard flocks, 125; barnyard 
revolution, 127; basting 
broiled chicken, photograph, 
127; broiler growth, 132; 
broiler production, 125-132; 
cages, photo, 131; changes in 
production and marketing, 
125; feeds, 128-130, 233; first 
in U.S., 125; Georgia Poultry 
Breeders contest, 126; herder, 
photo, 131; incubation inno- 
vations, 126; India, 128; me- 
chanical harvesting, 131; re- 
search, 125-132; rickets, 128; 
transportation, photo, 131; 
vitamins, 128-130 
Chief, 226 

Children: health of new-born, 
289; preadolescent nutritional 
needs, 295; sexual develop- 
ment and growth restored, 
Chile, 21, 317 
China, 36, 126, 226, 231 
Chinese chestnut fungus, 110 
Chinese elm, 194 
Chloramphenicol, 97 
Chlorpropham, 232 
Chlortetracycline, 89 
Cholera, 75; 80-81 
Christmas trees, 34, 194, 196 
Churchill, Virgil, photo, 3 
Citrus groves, photo, 170 
Civil War, 24 

Civil Works Administration, 263 
Civilian Conservation Corps, 48 
Clams, 210, 278 
Clark, 228 
Clay, Henry, 21 
Clemson, Thomas G., 23 
Climate, 212, 245, 301, 347 
Clostridium botulinum, 257 
Clothing: basis for practical siz- 
ing, 266; testing for wear, 
Coal development, 38 
Coccidioais, 93 

Cloud seeding, 237, 241, 242 

Coachella Valley, 240 

Cod liver oil, 44 

Coffee, 106, 268, 273 

Coffee rust, 106 

Coker Pedigree Seed Co., 235 

Colman, Henry, 22 

Colombia, 46, 317, 320 

Colorado: animal testing, photo, 
77; Colorado River Basin 
Project, 239; Colorado River 
Compact, 240; concerned with 
"duty of water", 245; cook- 
ing quality of potatoes stud- 
ied, 253; elevation, 283; pho- 
tos, 147 and 282; studies on 
irrigation, 246; veterinarians, 
photo, 76; wheat, 53 

Colorado State University, 281, 

Columbia River Basin Project, 

Commercial Standards of the U.S. 
Department of Commerce, 

Computers, 221 

Comstock, R. E., 221 

Conifers, 197 

Connecticut: agricultural report- 
ing, 31-32; corn, 45-46; dis- 
ease, 66-67; feed, 130; first 
State Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station, 2-8; hemp, 14; 
insects, 66-67; natural bug 
control, 99; Office of Experi- 
ment Stations organized, 290; 
poultry, 130; pricing policies 
and programs, 308; rats for 
research, 42; sources of in- 
bred lines. 220; studies on 
hybrid corn, 217, 218; town- 
ship system, 22; weeds, 66- 

Consultative Group on Interna- 
tional Agriculture Research, 

Contagious bovine pleuropneu- 
monia (CBPP), 75-77 

Continental Congress, 16 

Cook, Robert E., 125-132 

Cook State Park, 197 

Cooking: high altitude, 281-288 

Cooperatives, See Co-ops 

Co-ops: and the stations, part- 
ners in progress, 299-310 

Copper, 261, 293 

Coprology, 325, 326 

Cork, 200, 256 

Corn: cattle feed, 105; corn 
blight epidemic, 105-111; 
cross breeding, 18; curios or 
objects of art, 214; discovery 
of, 105; disease, 105; earworm 
at work, photo, 177; epidem- 
ic, 105-114; experimenting 
with, 215; flint and dent, 215, 
219; genes, 107; high lysine, 
photo, 43; Hog Program, 54; 
Corn Project, 300; hybrid, 2, 
213-224, 306; Indian, 10-12; 
in form of cornmeal, grits, 
hominy, 254; low yielding 
traditional varieties, 314; 
male sterile, 222; open-polli- 
nated, 214; planter, 21; polli- 
nation, 107; production, 29, 
121; pure-line method, 217; 
seed, 214; single and double 
cross, 109, 218; stover, 143; 
research, 107; World record 
yield, 223 
Corn Belt, 181, 219, 222 
Cornell University, 263, 309 
Cornmeal, 254 
Corps of Engineers, 192 
Corsoy, 228 
Cottage cheese, 279 

Cotton, gin, 19; Indian, 1; photo, 
63; picker, 62; research, pho- 
to, 67; sprayed with DDT, 

Cotton Mather, 214 

Cowboys, 26 

Cranberry, photo, 18, 275 

Cream separator, 140 

Crittenden, H. W., 230 

Cross-fertilization, 214, 215 

Crystal violet vaccine, 81 

Cucumbers, 205, 207, 268 

Cundiff, Larry V., 116-124 

Curly top disease, 83 

Curtice, C, 82 

Custer, 231 

Cutler, 228 

Cyanocobalamine <Bj3),88 

Dairy industry: cream separator, 
140; germs, 78; milk supply, 
144; production, 119, 120; 
products, 251, 268; protein- 
free feed, 143; protein-free 
milk, 45; technology, 140 

Dairylea, 299 

Dandelion, 250 

Darwin, Charles, 214 

Davenport, Eugene, 216 

Davis, G. K., 292 

Davis, Marguerite, 44 

DDT, 100, 325 

Deere, John, 21 

Defoliation, 195 

De Laval, Carl G., centrifugal 
separator, 140 

Delaware: application of forest 
genetics, 193; chicken devel- 
opment contest, 127; soybean 
variety developed, 230; to- 
mato production, 340 

DeLuca, H. F., 292 

Demethylchlortetracycline, 86 

Dent, 215, 219 

Depression, 47-54, 201, 251, 325 

de Schweinitz, E. A., 80 

Detasseling, 215 

Detergents, 266 

Diabetes, 260, 298 

Diethylstilbestrol, 123 

Dillon, Douglas, 321 

Dinoseb, 232 

Disease: bovine brucellosis, 78; 
cabbage, 68; chestnut blight 
fungus, 194; combating, 251; 
contagious bovine pleuro- 
pneumonia, 75-77; deficiency 
diseases, 289; Dutch Elm 
Disease, 194; East Coast fe- 
ver, 321; forest tree, 192; fu- 
sarium wilt, 342; leaf rust, 
195; needle-disease, 194; phy- 
tophthora rot, 230; potato, 
66, 74; research, 251; rust 
epidemics, 69, 231; skin, 86; 
Southern Corn Leaf Blight, 
222, 231; tabasco etch virus 
(TEV), 333; tick fever, 75, 
82, 83; trypanosomiasis, 321; 
tuberculosis, 86; Venezuelan 
equine encephalitis, 79; ver- 
ticillium wilt, 340; virus, 74 

Disoy, 229 

District of Columbia, 19 

Dock, 250 

Doctrine of Appropriation, 244 

Doors, 264 

Dorset, M., 80 

Dorsett, P. H., 226 

Double cross, 218, 220 

Douglas fir, 197, 198 

Drought, 53, 239, 314 

Duggar, Benjamin, 86 

Dunfield, 226 

Duroc hog, photo, 137 

Dust bowls, 325 

Dutch elm disease, 114, 194 


Dwarfism, 293 
Dyer, 231 

East Coast fever, 321 

East, Edward Murray, 217 

Eastern white pine, 197 

Ecology. 195, 323-328 

Ecosystem, 323-325 

Eggs: 251, 252, 260, 286, 304, 
309, 326, 349 

Egyptian civilization, 126 

"Eleanors", 264 

Electric power, 239 

Electrification, rural, 265 

Electro-ejaculation, 334 

Electronmicrograph, 79 

Electron microscope, 5, 37 

Elms, 194 

Encephalomyelitis, 79 

Energy: crisis threatens maple 
producers, 336; demand 
growing, 327; developing and 
conserving, 347; of stoves, 
263; used by prehistoric man, 

Engines : internal combustion, 
212; steam, 210; steam engine 
patented, 210 

England, livestock antibiotics, 96, 

English settlers, 10 

Environment, 241, 278, 323, 326, 
330, 343, 347 

Epidemics: insect, 192 

Equipment: environmental con- 
trol, 330; farm, 212 

Erosion, 50, 188, 325 

Erosion control, 185 

Erythromycin, 89 

Esthetics: 198, 241. 268, 277 

Europe: antibiotics in feed, 95; 
-dairying, 141 

Evaporation, 282, 285 

Evapotranspiration, 240, 247 

Evergreen: 191, 197 

Experiment Stations, beginning, 
2; California, 2-8; Canada, 
91; Connecticut, 2—8; Kansas, 
104; Missouri, 50-51; Mon- 
tana, 102; North Carolina, 
33-34; North Dakota, 103; 
South Carolina, 12-13 

Experimental farm gardens, 13, 

Fabrics, 266 

Fadeometer, 265 

Famine, 213 

Farm Credit Administration, 53- 

Farmers Forage Research, 309 

Farmland Industries, 303, 306 

Fats: 260, 285, 295; animal, 250; 
rancidness, 274; rationing, 

Federal Emergency Relief Ad- 
ministration, 53 

Feeding standards, 145, 149 

Feeding trial tests, photo, 42 

Fermentation, 285 

Ferns, 250 

Ferret, 335 

Fertilizer, 303, 305, 314, 327; con- 
trol, 33; research, 4, 21, 33 

Finland, 143 

Fire: fighting, 192; for preserv- 
ing meat, 267; man-made 
prescribed, 197; periodic, 196; 
wildfires, 197 

Fish: 255, 257, 268, 278, 323, 327, 
334; aquaculture, 150; cat- 
fish farming, 152-155; catfish, 
photo, 154; cultivation of fish 
in Liberia, photo, 155; fer- 
tilizing ponds, 162; food, 162- 
153; hatcheries, 151; Interna- 
tional Center for Aquacul- 

ture, 156; lake management, 
151; malaria control, 153; 
ponds, 150; Puerto Rico fish- 
erman, photo, 155; research, 
151-156; sport fishing, 155- 

Fistula, 75, 83 

Fleming, Alexander, 85 

Flint, 215, 219 

Flood control, 192, 239 

Florida: application of forest 
genetics, 193; citrus, 169-173; 
hybrid phenomenon, 221; 
Spanish settlers, 12; studies 
of inorganic elements in nu- 
trition, 292; winter vegeta- 
bles, 176 

Flour: 268, 286; cake flour from 
soybeans, 234 

Fluorine, 178, 294 

Folic acid, 293 

Food: a million gallons of water 
for a single acre of, 237-248; 
benefits to consumers, 299; 
browning reaction, 275; bul- 
letins available, 288; canning, 
255-260, 267; characteristics, 
272; commercial frozen, 260; 
conservation of nutritive 
values, 254; daily consump- 
tion of animal products, 326; 
dietary standards, 252; for 
human survival, 325; freez- 
ing, 260; high altitude cook- 
ing, baking, 281-288; home 
preparation, 250-260; impor- 
tant role for irrigation, 248; 
improving Mexico's produc- 
tion, 312; insect infestation, 
277; in unequalled abundance, 
201; maple flavored products, 
336; need for production with 
less labor, 212; new sciences, 
267-279; nutritional labeling, 
277; pain factor, 273; people- 
food race, 345-350; physio- 
logical utilization, 290; pres- 
ervation, 255, 267, 268; pro- 
tective foods, 252; rationing, 
252, 253; Recommended Die- 
tary Allowances, 260; retro- 
gradation of starch, 275, 276; 
significant changes, 250; taste 
panels, 271; technology, 261; 
traditional use of soybeans 
for, 233; use of pyrazines in 
flavoring, 335 

Food and Drug Administration, 
274, 278, 330 

Forage, 124, 201 

Ford Foundation, 320 

Forest: cultivated, 324-326; ex- 
perimental, 215; sprayed with 
DDT, 325; Third, 193; use of 
land, 198; virgin, 324; water- 
sheds, 241 

Forest Service, 191 

Fortmann, H. R., 345-350 

Fosdick, Raymond B., 312 

4-H, 300 

France, 255 

French wine industry, 106 

Frost, 247 

Fruit: 239, 255; canned, 252, 278; 
dried, 268, 277; freezing, 260, 
268; fresh, 250, 252, 268; hot 
water bath, 287; losses from 
frost, 247; loss of vitamins, 
254; mechanized harvesting, 
201, 205, 209; research, 251; 
tomatoes, 837-344 

Fungus, cercospora, 73; Yellow 
pigmented, 86 

Fusarium, 68-69, 340 

Future Farmers of America, 300 

Gagnon, Melvin N., 337-344 
Ganges river, 237 

Gardens: 215; home, 260; Victory, 

Garner, W. W., 226 

Garrett, Roger, 209 

Genes: 229, 231, 333-348; beef, 
117, 119; corn, 107-110; 
dwarfing, 113; rice, 114; 
wheat, 114 

Genetic change, 59-64 

Genotypes, 229 

Georgia: American chestnut has 
disappeared, 194; broiler re- 
search, 126; chicken herder, 
photo, 131; corn yield, 300; 
cotton, photo, 63; DDT 
sprayed over forests, 325; 
economics of co-ops studied, 
309; first experimental gar- 
den, 13; genetic broiler re- 
search, 126; harvesting broil- 
ers, photo, 131; photos, 206, 
222, 272; poultry production, 
126; University of, 300; zinc 
recognized as essential nu- 
trient, 293 

Germ plasm, 120, 231 

Germany, 257 

Germs, cattle, 77 

Ginger, IS 

Glass: blowing, 256; containers, 
259; lids, 256 

Glover, Townend, 21 

Glycerol, 81 

Gnus, 83 

Gold Kist Inc., 300, 303, 307, 309 

Goss, Glen W., 329-336 

Gough, H. D., 21 

Gough, Paul, 2-8; 41-46; 99-104 

Grains: 201, 212, 250, 252; feed, 
143; reaper. 20 

Grapefruit, 175 

Grapes, 13 

Grass: bluestem, photo, 182; for-: 
age, 183; golf, 180; grazing, 
187; insects to control weeds, 
189; lawns, 180; manage- 
ment, 184; pasture, 185; pes- 
ticides, 180; research, 183; 
seedbed, 188; sod seeding, 188; 
varieties, 182; weed control, 

Grazing, controlled, 241 

Green beans, 255 

Greenleaf, W. H., 333 

Green Revolution, 312-322 

Greens, wild Spring, 250 

Grimm, Wendelin, 21 

Grits, 264 

Grouse, 198 

Guano, 21 

Guinea pigs, 117 

Guyana, 235 

Hamburger, 105, 106, 337 

Haberlandt, 226 

Hampton, 235 

Hanna, G. C 207, 339 

Hardee, 229 

Hardwoods, 191, 197 

Harpstead, D. D., 213-224 

Harrar, J. George: 312-322; pho- 
to, 322 

Harriott, Bill, 209 

Hartwig, E. E., 230 

Harvard, 215, 218 

Harvey, P. H., 221 

Hatch Act, 24, 32-33, 116, 140, 
245, 313 

Hatteras beach grass, 37 

Hawaii: corn, 112; weed control 
techniques, photo, 32 

Hawkeye, 228 

Hay: crushing, 203; giant baler 
invented, 202; wafer and 
cubes, 202 

Hayes, Herbert K., 218, 220 

Hazel, Lanoy N., 136-138 

Head ditches, 246 


Health, 264, 289, 292, 297, 298 

Heart diseases, 260 

Heart and lung disease, photo, 

H elminthosporium maydis, 109- 

112; 114 
Hemoglobin, 293 
Herbicides: for soybeans, 232 
Hereford, 21, 117, 119 
Hessian fly, 102 
Heterodera glycines, Ichinohe, 

Heterosis, 135 
Hexadecanol, 242 
Hilgard, Eugene W., 2, 6-8, 245 
Hog cholera, 80 
Hogs, 133-138 
Holden, Perry G., 216, 219 
Home, Lots of Better Things for, 

Homestead Act, 23-24 
Hominy, 254 
Hong Kong flu, 110 
Hoosier cabinet, 262, 263 
Hoover Dam, 239, 240 
Hoover, President, 263 
Hopkins, Cyril G., 216, 219 
Hops, 331-333 
Horses, 210, 324 
Horsfall, James G., 105-114 
Housing, 264 

Howell, Robert W., 225-236 
Huddleston, I. F., 78 
Hull, Fred H„ 221 
Hussey, Obed, 21 
Hwang Ho river, 237 
Hybrid corn, 213-224 
Hybridization, 18, 214 
Hybrid vigor, 214, 220 
Hydroelectric installations, 240 
Hyperimmune serum, 81 
Hypertension, 298 

Icebox, 263 

Idaho: annexation, 16; elevation, 
283; hops grown, 331 

Illini, 226 

Illinois: biological role of protein 
defined, 295; chemical com- 
ponents of corn investigated, 
216; Contagious Bovine Pleu- 
ropneumonia, 76; corn, 29- 
30; cost of providing co-op 
services, 307; dietary needs 
from nutrients, 294; early 
soybean varieties selected, 
226; farm prices, 52; fire 
blight disease, 66; genetic 
controls of soybeans, 229; 
inbred seed worked with, 217; 
land grant colleges, 24; pho- 
tos, 216, 227, 274; phytoph- 
thora rot resistance, 231; 
plows, 20; science for corn 
production spread, 219; soy- 
bean advances, 233; soybean 
research, 228; study of septic 
tanks, 261; tomato produc- 
tion maintained, 340 

India, 235, 245, 317, 321; chickens, 

Indian vegetables, 11 

Indiana: amino acid, 45-46; con- 
tagious bovine pleuropneu- 
monia, 76; corn, 53; early 
soybean varieties selected, 
226; feeding trial tests on 
rats, 42; Indiana Farm Bu- 
reau Cooperative Associa- 
tion, 309; kitchen stove re- 
search, 263; phytophthora rot 
first observed, 230; research, 
32, 262; testing for washing 
machine efficiency, 265; to- 
mato production maintained, 

Indigo, 12-13 

Indus river, 237 

Industrial change, 64 

Infrared film, 192 

Insects, 66, 99-104; combating, 
251; epidemics, 192; on to- 
mato plants, 343 

Internal combustion engine, 212 

International Center of Tropical 
Agriculture, 320 

International Crops Research In- 
stitute for Semi-Arid Trop- 
ics, 321 

International Institute of Tropi- 
cal Agriculture, 320 

International Laboratory for Re- 
search on Animal Diseases, 

International Livestock Centre 
for Africa, 321 

International Maize and Wheat 
Improvement Center, 320 

International Potato Center, 320 

International Rice Research In- 
stitute (IRRI), 320 

International Soybean Research 
Base (INTSOY),235 

Iowa: alternative solution for 
co-ops, 307; analysis of hous- 
ing survey, 264; beef, 117; 
cholera, 81; Corn Belt, 29; 
corn breeding programs, 220; 
Corn-Hog' program, 54-56; 
early soybean variety se- 
lected, 226; farm electrifica- 
tion, 265; fat measurement, 
136; genetics, 117; hog re- 
search, 133; hybrid phenom- 
enon, 221; invention of giant 
hay baler, 202; National 
Guard, photo, 49; photos, 211, 
234, 296, 303; research on 
meat cookery, 253; science for 
corn production spread, 219; 
soybean breeding program 
initiated, 235; State agricul- 
tural colleges, 24 

Iran, 100 

Irish famine, 106 

Irish potato, 106, 111 

Iron, 252, 293 

Irrigation: 21, 237-248; first ex- 
perimental plots, 245; for 
tomato industry, 338, 343; 
industrial, 198; problems, 
237; rivers and streams, 239, 
240; sprinklers, 246; trickle 
systems, 246; variables stud- 
ied, 246 

Italy, 17 

Itasco State Park, 197 

Jack pine, 197 

Jackson, 229 

Japan, 95 

Japanese elm, 194 

Jefferson, Thomas, 16-17 

Jensen, Rue, 75-84 

Johnson grass, 203 

Johnson, Herbert W., 228 

Johnson, Samuel W., 2-8; 41-45 

Jones, Donald F., 107-109, 218, 

219, 220, 222 
Jones, T. N-, 203 

Kalkus, J. W., 300 

Kanrich, 229 

Kansas, agricultural economics, 
51; corn, 29; farm electrifica- 
tion, 265 ; kitchen stove re- 
search, 263; railroads, 116; 
range cattle, 26-27; research, 
54, 253 

Kaufert, Frank H., 191-200 

Kaufmann, M. J., 231 

Kellogg Foundation, 321 

Kendrick, J. B., 345-350 

Kentucky: cattle, 21; contagious 
bovine pleuropneumonia, 76; 
dairy marketing co-ops ad- 
justment, study, 307 

Ketchum, William F., 21 

Kilbourne, F. L., 82 

Kim, 229 

Kings Canyon National Park, 198 

Kitchens, 262-264 

Korea, 226 

Kraut, 68 

Krezdom, A. H., 169-180 

Kwashiorkor, 46 

Lactobacillus lactis, 88 

Lamb's -quarters, 250 

Lambs, research, photo, 92 

Land: abandoned, 324 

Land Grant College Acts, 313 

Land-Grant College Association, 

Landmark, Inc., 302, 306, 307 

Lard, 133-134; 138 

Larsen, R. Paul, 158-168 

Latin America, 235, 317, 319 

Laundry, 264, 266 

Leafhoppers, 73 

Lee, 228 

Legumes, 231, 250, 260, 268 

Lettuce, 209 

Leverton, Ruth, 294 

Lewis and Clark Expedition, 16 

Lima beans, 256 

Lincoln, 228 

Lincoln, Abraham, 23 

Linklater, W. A., 300 

Lobster, 210, 349 

Lodgepole pine, 197, 198 

Logging, 193, 196, 198 

Longhorn cattle, 116 

Lorain, John, 214, 219 

Lorenz, Klaus, 281-288 

Lorenz, O. A., 337-344 

Lorenzen, Coby, 207, 340 

Louisiana: comparative rates of 
payout for broilers, 301; 
farmer-owned poultry co-op, 
307; photos, 259, 270; pur- 
chase, 16; sugar, 21; tabasco 
sauce produced, 335 

Lovvorn, Roy L., 31-40 

Lowville Academy, 3 

Lumber, 193 

Lumper, 111 

Lush, Jay L., 117 

Lysine, 43; 46 

McBryde, C. N., 81 
McCollum, Elmer V., 42, 291 
McCormick, Cyrus H., 21 
McWhorter, C. G., 232 

Machines, 201-212, 339-342, 344 

Magna, 229 

Maine : cooking quality of pota- 
toes studied, 253; corn, 105 
farm electrification, 265 
kitchen stove research, 263 
testing and experimenting, 
31-32; thermal tests with 
cooking utensils, 261; town- 
ship system, 12; working 
with Yankee Milk co-op, 308 

Male sterile, 222 

Malthus, Thomas Robert, 213 

Mandell, 226 

Mangelsdorf, Paul, 108-109, 222 

Manure, 246, 305, 327 

Maple: sap, 336; sirup, 335-336; 
sugar, 196, 336, 337 

Mapping: timber types, water- 
shed, 192 

Margarine: 225; from soybean 
oil, 232, 233; oleomargarine, 

Marks, Joseph J., 345-350 


Maryland : agriculture societies, 
18; fishing and seafood re- 
search, 36; mechanizing sea- 
coast industries, 210; photo, 
230; State Agricultural Col- 
leges, 24; tomato production, 
Mason jars, 256 
Mason, M. E., 335 
Massachusetts, agricultural sur- 
vey, 22; cattle shows, 18; con- 
tagious bovine pleuropneu- 
monia, 76; mechanizing sea- 
coast industries, 210; Pilgrim 
settlers, 10; research on food 
processing times, 259; spores 
found in soil samples, 257; 
township system, 12; witch 
hunting activities, 214 
Mather, Cotton, 214 
Meadow cowslips, 250 
Meats: 250, 255, 257; assembly- 
line manufacture, 326; cook- 
ery, 253, 254; cooking at high 
altitudes, 286; drying and 
smoking, 267; freezing, 260; 
rabbits, 251; rationing, 252; 
thermometers, 253 
Mechanical change, 59-64, 201- 

Mechanical corn pickers, 105 
Meeker, Jacob R., 331 
Melengestrol acetate (MGA), 123 
Melons, 103 
Memoranda of Understanding, 

Mendel, Gregor, 67 
Mendel, Lafayette B., 42-45 
Mendelian; inheritance, 220; 

laws, 221 
Mercury poisoning, 334 
Metal cobalt, 88 
Mexican War, 16 
Mexico, 112, 156, 213, 235, 312, 

314-322, 340 
MFA Oil Company, 304 
Michigan: cattle vaccine, 78; 
cherry picker, photo, 113; 
early agriculture research, 8; 
experimenting with corn, 
215; farm electrifcation, 265; 
first agriculture colleges, 24; 
fluorine active in mottled 
tooth enamel, 294; grain com- 
bine developed, 212; Michi- 
gan Fur Breeders Associa- 
tion, 334; photos, 206, 208; 
tomato production main- 
tained, 340 
Michigan State University, 215, 

216, 334 
Microflora, 88 
Microorganisms, 323 
Middle East, 100 
Mildew, 266; epidemic, 66 
Milk: 252, 268, 307-308; assem- 
bly-line manufacture, 326; 
cream separator, 140; germs, 
78; powder, 43; production, 
119, 120; products, 252, 260; 
protein, 43; protein free, 45; 
supply, 144; technology, 140 
Minerals, 254, 296, 350 
Mink, 334, 335 

Minnesota, corn, 105, 111; corn 
breeding programs, 220; fun- 
gus, 110; legislature author- 
ized soybean research, 234; 
milk, 140: mortgage morato- 
rium, 49; photo, 269; re- 
search, 31, 253; rust diseases, 
70-72; study of agricultural 
markets, 308 
Mississippi: field curing of hay, 
203; leadership in soybean 
research, 230; Mississippi 
River, 197, 304 (photo); 
photo, 192; soybean weed con- 
trol, 232 

Missouri: antibiotics, 86; contagi- 
ous bovine pleuropneumonia, 
76; corn, 29, 53; experiment 
stations, 50-51; farm electri- 
fication, 265; Missouri Farm- 
ers Association, 304 (photo), 
309; research on meat cook- 
ery, 253 

Mitchell, H. H., 295 

Molds, 257, 276 

Monogastric animals, 122 

Montana: branding calves, 28; 
cooking quality of potatoes 
studied, 253; elevation, 283; 
research, 51-52 

Mooers. C. A, 226 

Moore, R. A., 181-190 

Mormons, 21, 237, 238 

Morrill, Justin S., 24 

Morrill Land Grant College Act, 
24, 116 

Morse, W. J., 226, 228 

Mosquitoes, 79 

Mt. Katahdin, 111 

Mrak, Emil M., 267-279 

Mukden, 226 

Mulberries, 13 

Mulches, 200 

Mumford, F. B., 50 

Murray, William G., 47-54 

Mushrooms, 329-331 

Mussel poisoning, 278 

Mustard, 250 

Naptalam, 232 

National Conference on Home 
Building and Home Owner- 
ship, 263 
National Poultry Improvement 

Plan, 132 
National Soybean Crop Improve- 
ment Council, 235 
National Soybean Processors As- 
sociation, 235 
National Soybean Research Co- 
ordinating Committee, 235 
Nebraska: beef, 116; corn, 53, 
291; dietary needs from nu- 
trients, 294; elevation, 283; 
farm electrification, 265; 
feeding studies, 34; kitchen 
stove research, 263; photos, 
25, 271, 297; research on 
laundry water, 264; study of 
pressure gages, 259 
Nematode, 231 
Nematology, 230 
Neomycin, 86 

Nevada: annexation, 16; eleva- 
tion, 283; grasses, 34; photo. 
247; water available for irri- 
gation, 240 
Newbold, Charles, 20 
New Deal, 48 

New England, 194, 219, 308, 335 
New Hampshire: food research, 
34; photo, 324; potatoes, 14; 
reports, 31-32; township sys- 
tem, 12 
New Jersey: antibiotics, 86; bio- 
logical role of protein defined, 
295; contagious bovine pleu- 
ropneumonia, 75-77; farmer 
societies, 18; planter, photo, 
60; plows, 20; research, pho- 
to, 87; tomato production, 
342; work on farm sewage 
disposal, 261 
New Mexico: annexation, 16; co- 
operative cotton gins, 308; 
elevation, 283 
New York: contagious bovine 
pleuropneumonia, 76; cook- 
ing quality of potatoes stud- 
ied, 253; development of hu- 
man nutrition, 289; early 
laboratories, 8; first cheese 
factory, 140; first scientific 

agricultural experiments, 2- 
3; first State Board of Agri- 
culture, 22; fluorine active in 
mottled tooth enamel, 294; 
military leadership, 16; pho- 
tos, 222, 339; research, 2, 69; 
research on canning, 256; to- 
mato production, 340 

New Zealand, animal protein fac- 
tor (APF),87 

Niacin, 294 

Niedermeier, R. P., 139-148 

Nigeria, 320 

Nile river, 237 

Niles, W. B., 81 

Nitrogen, 231, 325, 327, 343, 348, 

Nitrogen, non-protein, 143 

North Carolina: early soybean 
variety selected, 226; expe- 
riment stations, 33-34; ge- 
netic functioning, 221; Hatch 
Act, 32; sand dunes, 36; 
source of genetic resistance 
found, 231; State University, 
125; work on harvest mech- 
anization, 205, 207 

North Dakota: coal, 38; cotton, 
68; fungus, 11; research on 
kitchen specifications, 262; 
research on meat cookery, 
253; rumen fistula, 83; rust 
and sawfly, 103 

North Dakota State University, 

Northern Regional Research Lab- 
oratory, 228, 233 
Nurseries, 215 

Nutrition: and health, 289-298; 
information for co-ops, 306; 
research, 251, 290, 295 

Oat barrier, 57, 64 
Obesity, 260, 298 
Ogden, 228 

Ohio: analyzing costs of dairy 
marketing, 307; Brucellosis, 
80; coal, 38; contagious bo- 
vine pleuropneumonia, 76; 
corn, 30; early soybean va- 
riety selected, 226; manure 
used for horticultural crops, 
326; photos, 209, 265, 291, 
349; phytophthora rot first 
observed, 230; tomato produc- 
tion maintained, 340 
Ohio State University, 306 
Oil: 229, 303; availability and 
uses of soybean oil, 233; re- 
search on, 274; soybean, 225, 
232, 233 
Oklahoma: cotton, photo, 67; ero- 
sion, photo, 50; new under- 
standing of food flavors, 335, 
progress report on co-ops, 
306; research on marketing 
co-ops, 307; roads, 47; wheat, 
photo, 71-72; whey converted 
into protein feed, 279; W- 
profile developed, 205 
Oleomargarine, 252 
Olympic National Park, 198 
Open-pollinated, 214, 219, 220 
Oranges, 170, 209, 273 
Orchards: irrigated, 239 
Oregon: annexation, 16; disease 
study, photo, 83; hops grown, 
331; mechanizing seacoast in- 
dustries, 210; photo, 293; re- 
search on hop varieties, 332; 
research on kitchen specifi- 
cations, 262; system for food 
processing developed, 257; 
weed control, photo, 32 
Oregon State University, 332 
Organisms, 257 
Oriental Bank of Ceylon, 106 


Oriental chestnuts, 194 
Ornamental horticulture, 177-178 
Orton, W. A., 67 
Osborne, Thomas B., 42-45 
Outhouse, 264 
Ovens, 263 
Oxygen, 257, 293 
Oxytetracycline, 89 
Oyster, 210, 349 
Ozone, 195 

Paint from soybean oil, 233 

Pakistan, olive scale, 101 

Palmer, L. O., 203 

Panama Canal, 326 

Pans, 261 

Pantry, 262 

Papaya. 170, 176 

Paraffin, 256 

Parasites, 99, 110 

Particleboard, 199 

Pasteur, Louis, 66, 140 

Pates, John L., 181-190 

Pathology: plant, 230, 312 

Patent Office, 22 

Patton, Matthew, 21 

Peaches, 208, 256, 275 

Peanut: 11, 27; peanut butter, 

273; plants, 205; role of pyra- 

zines, 335 
Peanuts, 11, 27 

Pear disease, 66 

Pears, 275, 278 

Pearson, Oscar, 339 

Peas, 113, 255, 256 

Peking, 231 

Pellagra, 289, 294 

Penguins, 325 

Penicillin, 86, 89, 107 

Pennsylvania: agricultural col- 
leges, 24; agriculture reports, 
18; beef research, 118; cat- 
tle feeding, 146; corn, 31-32; 
environmental disturbances, 
38; milk, 139; needs, 40; re- 
search on share of dairy mar- 
ket, 308; soybean first men- 
tioned, 226; testing, 117; to- 
mato production, 340; trade 
schools, 7-8; two strains of 
corn worked with, 219; work- 
ing with mushroom growers, 

Pennsylvania State University: 
329; photos, 195, 196, 327 

Peppers: 273; tabasco, 333 

Permeability tests, 244 

Pernicious anemia, 88 

Peru, 21, 320 

Petersine, Ira M., 126 

Peterson Seed Co., 235 

Philadelphia Society for Promot- 
ing Agriculture, 18 

Philippines, 155, 156, 320 

Phosphorus, 292, 325 

Photogrammetry, aerial, 191 

Photoperiodism, 226 

Photosynthate, photo, 45 

Photosynthesis, 345, 348 

Physiology: of the sugar maple, 
336; plant, 230 

Phytophthora, 230, 231 

Phytophthora rot, 230 

Pickett, 229, 231 

Pickles: 256, 268; industry threat- 
ened, 207 

Pigment, 291 

Pigweed, 250 

Pinckney, Lucas, 13 

Pineries, 193 

Pioneer couple, photo, 13 

Pioneer Seed Co., 235 

Piper, C. V., 226 

Plains Cotton Cooperative Asso- 
ciation, 303 

Plants: 323; castor-oil, 303; evap- 
otranspiration, 240; higher- 
yielding tomato varieties, 

Plant disease: cabbage, 68; pota- 
to, 66, 74; rust, 69 

Plant Variety Protection Act, 

Planter, photo, 60 

Plastic: 199, 327; films lining 
canals, 242; made from corn, 
224; tubes in trickle irriga- 
tion, 246; tubing in maple 
sap gathering, 336 

Pleuropneumonia, 75 

Plows, 20 

Plywood, 199 

Polk, 250 

Pollen, 214, 215 

Pollution: 327; air, 195; environ- 
mental, 323; from smudge 
smoke, 301; sources must 
cease, 328; water, 196 

Population: 213, 251; pressures, 
323; problems, 345, 346, 350 

Pork: backfat probe, photo, 136; 
breeding, 136, 137; cross- 
breeding, 135; farrowing 
crate, 135; fat, 133-134; pro- 
duction, 135; redesign of, 
133-134; Regional Swine 
Breeding Laboratory, 135; ul- 
trasonic probes, 137 

Porter, Jane M., 250-260; 261- 

Potatoes: 250, 270, 281; certi- 
fied stock, 74; chips, 234, 273; 
diseases of, 66, 74; instant 
mashed, 273; Irish famine, 
106; irrigated, 239; photo, 67; 
problems in cooking, 253, 
287; seed producers, 74; 
sweet, 287, 292; varieties, 
106, 111, 113; virus-free 
tuber, 74 

Pots, 261 

Poultry, 251, 307, 309, 326 

Pound, Glenn S., 66-74 

Powel, John Hare, 21 

Powers, Ronald C, 55-64 

Precipitation, 237, 241 

Preserves, 250, 256 

Pressure cooker: 255-259, 286, 
287; invention, 255 

Princeton, 218 

Prize, 229 

Probst, A. H., 230 

Proctor Maple Research Farm, 

Protana, 230 

Protein: 303, 305; building, 348; 
control of nutritional ane- 
mias, 293; deficit, 142; feed 
from dried whey, 279; from 
soybean, 229, 236; in corn 
and rice, 254; in peanuts, 
335; liquid, 234; malnutrition, 
294, 295; vegetarian diet, 143; 
world's most effective pro- 
ducer, 225 

Protein-free feed, 143 

Protein-free milk, 45 

Protozoa, 82 

Provar, 230 

Prudhoe Bay, 39 

Prunes, 268 

Pucinia graminis tritici, 70-71 

Puerto Rico: corn, 112; fisher- 
man, photo, 155 

Pullorum, 132 

Pulpwood, 193 

Purdue University, 45, 226, 230, 

Pure-line method, 217 

Purnell Act, 52, 261, 262 

Pyrazines, 335 

Quail, 198 
Quarantine, 77 
Quitrents, 15 

Rabbits, 251 

Rabies immunization, 66 

Race 4, 231 

Railhead, photo, 27 

Rain, 205, 240 

Rainulator, 7 

Randolph, John, 17 

Rasmussen, Wayne D., 10-14; 15- 
22; 23-30 

Reaper, 21 

Recommended Dietary Allow- 
ances, 260 

Reconstruction, 27 

Recovery programs, 54 

Recreation, 198, 239 

Red pine, 197 

Redwoods, 191-200 

Refrigeration: 250; improved de- 
sign and efficiency, 263; re- 
duced vitamin losses, 254 

Regional Common Marketing 
Agency, 308 

Relishes, 250 

Remote sensing, 191 

Research: building a soybean 
program, 234; chemical ap- 
plying equipment, 327; funds 
from co-ops, 305; in animal 
breeding, 251; in nutrition, 
251, 290; maple 336; on meat 
cookery, 253; perfecting 
mushrooms, 329; priorities 
for the future, 346: railroad 
car display, 30; soybean, 226; 
soybean breeding and pro- 
duction, 228; textile, 266; vi- 
tamins, 251; with films, 192 

Research and Marketing Act, 117, 
264, 266 

Reservoirs, 240, 242 

Resistance Transfer Factor, 96- 

Respirometer, 262 

Revolution: 16, 22; agricultural, 
323, 337; Green, 193, 312- 
322; industrial, 323; mech- 
anization, 212 

Revolutionary War, 250 

Rhizobium, 232 

Rhizome Johnson grass, 232 

Rhode Island; research on ice- 
box, 263 

Rice, 17, 254, 255, 275, 317, 320 

Richland, 226 

Rickets, 289, 292, 293 

Ringderdune, 326 

Ritchey, F. D., 221 

Ritchey, S. J., 289-298 

Rivers, 239, 240 

Roanoke, 228 

Robertson, Don V., 31-40 

Robinson, H. F., 221 

Rockefeller Foundation, 312, 315, 
317-321 \ 

Rolfe, John, 11 

Roosevelt, Franklin D., 47 

Root zone, 240 

Rose, W. C, 294 

Ross, J. P., 231 

Ruffin, Edmund, 19 

Rumen fistula, 75, 84 

Ruminants: feed, 143; fistula, 75, 

Russell, H. L., 256 

Russia, 183, 185 

Russian thistle, 250 

Rust diseases, 69-70, 106 

Rust resistant wheat, 103 

Rutgers University: 295, 346 

Saiga, 83 

Salmon, 334, 349 

Salmon, D. E., 80 

Salmonella: S. suipestifer, 80-81; 

S- typhimurium, 96 
Salt: 242; detrimental to plants, 

Sanborn, J. W., 245 
Sand dune control, 36-37 


Satellite: imagery, 193; informa- 
tion-gathering, 347 

Sauces: 253, 254; tabasco, 333; 
tomato, 337 

Sawfly resistant wheat, 103 

Schalk, A. F., 83 

Schmitthenner, A. H., 230 

Schneider, Vernon E., 299-310 

Schuyler, Philip, 16 

Scioto, 226 

Scotch pine, 194, 195 

Scotland, 257 

Screening, 264 

Seafood: commercial fishing, 36; 
processing, 36 

Seed: corn, 214; difficulty grow- 
ing and high cost, 218; ger- 
mination, 246; not adapted 
to soil and climate, 301; or- 
chards, 193; protected from 
sand and water, 205 

Self-fertilization, 214 

Semen, 334 

Septic tanks, 261 

Sequoia National Park, 198 

Sewage, 261, 327, 341 

Shaklee, William E., 125-132 

Sharecroppers, photo, 51 

Sheep, 241, 324 

Sheep vaccine, 78 

Shell, E. W., 149-156 

Shigella, 95 

Shorb, Mary, 88 

Shorthorn cattle, 117, 119 

Shriver, A. K„ 255 

Shrubs, 241 

Shull, George Harrison, 217 

Siberian elm, 194 

Sight, 44 

Silver iodide, 241 

Sinden, James W., 330 

Single cross, 218 

Sirup: 275, 288, 335, 336 

Skin diseases, 86 

Skotland, Calvin B., 332 

Smith, S. B., 126 

Smith, T„ 82 

Smith-Lever Act, 24, 140 

Smithsonian Institution, 7 

Snap beans, 113 

Snow: 336; for irrigation water, 
240; thistles, 250 

Soap-curd, 266 

Socio-economic change, 59-64 

Sod house, photo, 25 

Soil: conditions, 301; conserva- 
tion programs, 20, 325; en- 
hanced by sewage, 327; evap- 
otranspiration, 240; fertility, 
304, 324; inadequate manage- 
ment practices, 314; mold, 
86; permeability tests, 244; 
root zone, 247; salt accumu- 
lation, 242; water-holding ca- 
pacity, 240; waterlogged, 240 

Solanum peneUii, photo, 5 

Solar heat, 348 

South Africa, 76 

South America, 214, 224, 282, 318 

South Carolina: developed car- 
riers of enrichment, 254; first 
experiment station in U.S., 
12-13; mechanical harvester 
for peaches, 208; photo, 147; 
planning Agricultural De- 
partment, 23; Revolution 
leaders, 16 

South Dakota: bulk handling of 
fertilizer, 305; elevation, 283; 
wheat, 71 

Southern Corn Leaf Blight, 222 

Southern Farm Association, 307 

Southern pines, 197 

Southern States Cooperative, 301, 

Soybean: 121, 143, 225-236; 
availability and uses of meal, 
233; availability and uses of 
oil, 233; breeding program, 

235; chemicals and herbi- 
cides, 232; flours, 233; genetic 
controls of maturity, 229; in- 
vestigations, 228; mechanical 
harvesting, 232; oil, 225; tex- 
turized vegetable protein, 
234; uses, 229, 232; varieties: 
Amsoy, 228; Arksoy, 226; 
Beeson, 228; Blackhawk, 230; 
Calland, 228; Chief, 226; 
Clark, 228; Corsoy, 228; Cus- 
ter, 231; Cutler, 228; Disoy, 
229; Dunfield, 226; Dyer, 231; 
Haberlandt, 226; Hampton, 
235; Hardee, 229; Hawkeye, 
228; Illini, 226; Jackson, 229; 
Kanrich, 229; Kim, 229; Lee, 
228; Lincoln, 228; Magna, 
229; Mandell, 226; Mukden, 
22G; Ogclen. 228; Peking, 231; 
Pickett, 229, 231; Prize, 229; 
Protana, 230; Provar, 230; 
Race 4, 231; Richland, 226; 
Roanoke, 228; Scioto, 226; 
Stuart, 285; Verde, 230; 
Wayne, 228; Williams, 229 

Soybean cyst nematode, 231 

Soybean Research Foundation, 
Inc., 235 

Spain, 194 

Spawn, 330 

Spoilage, 256, 257, 276 

Spoil bank, 38 

Spores, 257 

Sprague, George F., 221 

Sprinklers, 246 

Stanton, Beryle, 299-310 

Staphylococcus,' 278 

State Agricultural Experiment 
Stations, beginning, 2 

Steam engine: 210; patented, 210 

Steel: riveted, 257; stainless, 261, 

Steenbock, Harry, 129 

Steinhaus, Edward, microbial 
control of disease, 102 

Steyn, Ruth, 133-138 

Stoves, electric, gas, kerosene, 

Strawberries, 209 

Streams, 239, 240 

Streptococcus, 278 

Streptomycin, 2, 89 

Streptomyces: S. aureofaciens, 
86; S. Fradise, 86; S. griseus, 

String beans, 256 

Stuart, 235 

Sugar: 250, 260, 268, 284; beets, 
73; cane, 12, 73; carmeliza- 
tion, 285; lactose, 43; maple, 
196, 335, 336; production, 73; 
rationing, 252 

Suhovecky, A. J., 230 

Sulphur dioxide, 195 

Sunflowers, 303 

Sunkist, 299, 301 

Sunlight: for reproduction, 197; 
for solar heat, 348 

Swann Report, 97 

Synthesized alarm pheromones, 

Synthesized amino acids, 143 

Tabasco, 333 

Taiganides, E. Paul, 323-328 

Tassel, 214, 215, 221 

Tennessee: application of forest 
genetics, 193; flowering hab- 
its of soybeans noted, 226; 
photo, 324; Tennessee Farm- 
ers Cooperative, 307 

Terramycin, 86 

Tetracycline, 87, 91 

TEV (tabasco etch virus ) , 333 

Texas: angora goats, 34; annexa- 
tion, 16; application of for- 
est genetics, 193; corn, 112; 

DDT sprayed over cotton 
fields, 325; developed varie- 
ties of castors, 303; eleva- 
tion, 283; first well-equipped 
textiles laboratory, 265; pho- 
tos, 211, 238; research on 
meat cookery, 253; roads, 47 

Textiles, 265 

Texturized vegetable protein, 234 

Thermocouples, 258 

Thermometers, 253, 255 

Thomas, C. A., 329 

Thorne, Wynne, 237-248 

Tick: fever, 75, 82; research, 
photo, 83 

Timber, 192 

Tobacco, 239; before Revolution, 
sketch, 11; experiment, pho- 
to, 45 

Tomatoes: 5, 255, 256, 258, 260; 
adding calcium chloride, 272; 
industry, 176-177; processed 
products, 337; revolutionized 
harvesting, 207; systematiz- 
ing, 337-344; uniform ripen- 
ing, 339, 344 

Tools, 210 

Toxin, 257, 258 

Trace elements, 293 

Trade, 15 

Transportation technology, 58 

Trees: Bigtree, 198; Christmas, 
194, 195; Coast redwoods, 196, 
197, 198; cottonwood, 195; 
cutting practices, 198; de- 
foliation, 195; Elms, 194; for 
grazing, 241; logging, 196; 
hardwoods, softwoods, ever- 
green, deciduous, conifer, 
191; maple, 336; processes 
utilized, 193; Scotch pine, 
194, 195; see evergreen; uses 
of bark and sawdust, 200 

Trifluralin, 232 

Trypanosomiasis, 321 

Tryptophan, 46 

Tuberculosis, 86 

Turkeys, 85, 87, 90 

Turner, Jonathan, 24 

Tuskeegee Institute, 27 

Tylosin, 89 

United Nations Development Pro- 
gramme, 319 

United States Brewers Associa- 
tion, 332 

University of California: Berke- 
ley, 245; Davis, 339 

University of Georgia, 300 

University of Illinois, 228, 235 

University of Maryland, photo, 

University of Minnesota, 228 

University of Missouri, 309, 325 

University of Nebraska, 297 

University of Puerto Rico, 312 

Urea, 143 

Uribe, Irene, 312-322 

U.S. Agency for International 
Development (USAID), 235 

U.S. Regional Soybean Industrial 
Products Laboratory, 228 

U.S. Regional Soybean Labora- 
tory, 228 

Utah: annexation, 16; elevation, 
283; photographs, 246; reduc- 
ing fruit losses from frost, 
247; studies on'irrigation, 
245, 246; water, 34; water 
available for irrigation, 240 

Utah State University, 248 

Vaccines: bovine brucellosis, 78; 
crystal violet, 81; TC-83, 
against Venezuelan equine 
encephalomyelitis, 79 


Varnish: from soybean oil, 233 

Vedalia beetles, 100 

Vegetables: 239, 256; canned, 252, 
258, 278; cooking at high 
altitudes, 286, 287; freezing, 
260, 268; fresh, 250, 252, 268; 
hot water bath, 287; loss of 
vitamins, 254; mechanized 
harvesting, 201, 205, 209; 
non-acid, 256, 258; research, 
251; soybeans as fresh, 234 

Venezuelan equine encephalo- 
myelitis, (VEE), photo, 79 

Verde, 230 

Vermont: cabbage disease, 68; 
cooking quality of potatoes 
studied, 253; leader in maple 
research, 336; photo, 196; re- 
search on kitchen specifica- 
tions, 262; township system, 
12; working with Yankee 
Milk co-op, 308 

Verticillium wilt, 340 

Veterinarians, 76, 78, 82, 83, 117 

Vickery, Hubert B., 41-46 

Victory Gardens, 258 

Vineyards, 326 

Virgin Islands, photo, 179 

Virginia: cattle, 27; clover and 
alfalfa crops research, 301; 
communal work, 12; experi- 
mental farming, 16; first 
chickens in U.S., 125; first 
English settlement, 10; grain 
reaper, 21; kitchen stove re- 
search, 263; test of electric 
irons, 265; tomato produc- 
tion, 340; zinc research ac- 
complished, 294 

Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 

Virtanen, A, I., 143 

Viruses, 73, 74, 79, 81 

Vitamins, 2, 41-46, 128-129, 130, 
133, 250-254, 260, 277, 290- 
295, 344 

von Wolff, Emil, 145 

Waggoner, Paul E., 2-8 

Waksman, Selman, 86-87 

Walker, J. C-, 68 

Wallace, Henry A., 51, 108-109, 

Wallize, John A., 55-64 

Warren, George, 61 

Washington, D. C„ 4 

Washington: annexation, 16; 
farmsteads, 56; first commer- 
cial hops planted, 331, pho- 
to, 241; research on freezing 
vegetables, 260; research on 
kitchen specifications, 262; 

search for better hops, 332; 
testing for washing machine 
efficiency, 265; thermal pow- 
er, 38; thermal tests with 
cooking utensils, 261; wheat, 

Washington, George: agricultural 
statistics, 22; origin of Agri- 
culture Department, 23; Rev- 
olution, 16 

Washington State University, 
312, 331; photos, 199, 238, 

Waste: 278; control, 309; im- 
proved methods, 279; recy- 
cling, 326, 349; utilizing 
wood, 199 

Water; affecting soil erosion, 325; 
a million gallons for a single 
acre of feed, 237-248; as a 
food resource, 351; boiling 
temperature at various alti- 
tudes, 286; duty of, 245; ef- 
fects on laundry, 266; farm 
supply, 261; food processing 
by boiling, 255; holding ca- 
pacity of soils, 240; manage- 
ment, 343; mineral impurities 
in cooking water, 253: often 
a scarce item, 314; pollution, 
196, 328; quality, 242; ques- 
tion of ownership, 244; re- 
pellancy, 266; restructuring 
distribution systems, 248; 
sprinklers, 246; use of forest 
lands, 198 

Watermelon, 68 

Watersheds, 192, 241 

Watson, Elkanah, 18 

Watt, James, 210 

Waxes, 200 

Wayne, 228 

Weather, 112 

Weber, C. R., 229 

Weed control techniques, photo, 

Weeds, 66, 232, 242 

Welhausen, Edwin J., 315 

Western Farmers Association, 
300, 306 

West Indies, 11 

West Virginia: bulletin on Farm 
Water Supply and Sewage 
Disposal Systems, 261; wheat, 

Wheat, 314, 316; baking, 71; dis- 
ease, 72; Hessian fly resist- 
ant, 102; mildew, 73; milling, 
71; rust, 69; rust resistant, 
71-72; smut, 73; varieties, 70, 

Whey, 279 

White-Stevens, Robert H., 85-98 

White-tailed deer, 198, 324 

Whitney, Eli, 20 

Wild elm, 194 

Wildlife: 198, 241, 323; habitat, 
192, 193 

Williams, 229 

Wind, 242, 325 

Windows, 264 

Winemaking, 12 

Winslow, Edward, 10 

Wisconsin: antibiotics, 86; can- 
nery spoilage reduction 
sought, 256; cabbage disease, 
68; community research, 62; 
computerizing plant analy- 
sis, 305; corn breeding pro- 
grams, 220; dairy science, 
133; development of human 
nutrition, 289; discovery of 
vitamin A, 291; feeding 
standards, 147; fluorine ac- 
tive in mottled tooth enamel, 
294; Hatch Act, 32; insects 
and weeds, 66; irrigation, 
photo, 60; making hay han- 
dling simple, 202; milk pro- 
duction, 140; photos, 295, 325; 
potato virus, 74; research, 
51; research on dairy co-ops, 
308; trace element copper 
studied, 293; vitamin D stud- 
ied for metabolic function, 
292; vitamins, 41-46 

Wittwer, S. H., 345-350 

Wood, Jethro, 20 

Wood-fiber products, 199 

Wood molasses, 143 

Woodruff, Sybil, 234 

Woodworth, C. M., 228 

World surplus and competition, 

World War I, 250, 251, 257, 268 

World War II, 212, 230, 252, 253, 
258. 260, 266, 267, 268, 271, 
278, 294, 331, 336 

W-proflle, 205 

Wright, Sewall, 117 

Wyoming: elevation, 283; stud- 
ies on irrigation, 246 

Wysor, W. G., 301 

Yale, 19-20, 42 
Yeasts, 257, 276, 279, 285 
Yellowstone, 198 
Young, Arthur, 16 

Zein, 43 

Zimmerman, Charles E., 332 

Zinc, 293, 294 

Zwerman, Olive, 234 

LCC No. 75-600072 

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office 

Washington, D.C. 20402 - Price $7.30 

Stock Number 001-000-03471-5 

Catalog Number A 1.10:975